Monday, September 15th, 2008
Rejoice, O sorrowful Mother; after your great sufferings, you shine forth as Queen, enthroned beside your Son.
Coming one day after the Triumph of the Cross, today’s Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows expands our meditation to consider the inescapable sorrows of those standing around Christ’s cross. First and foremost, we focus on the sorrow of Mary’s broken and martyred heart. On Calvary, she is Mater dolorosa.
Calvary marked just one of many sorrows experienced by Mary, sorrows predicted by holy Simeon. The Church’s spiritual tradition counts seven sorrows in all: the prophecy of Simeon itself, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Child Jesus in Jerusalem, the way of the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus, the deposition of his body, and the burial. These afflictions increased the merit of Mary’s already sinless love. In her, redemptive suffering reveals itself as integral to the Christian life.
The liturgy for today includes a sequence, the Stabat Mater, which can also be broken up into hymns for the different hours of the Divine Office.
Attached below you’ll find the audio of Arvo Part’s 1985 composition of the Stabat Mater. A modern piece, it evokes the painful tears shed by Our Lady on Calvary.
Father, as your Son was raised on the cross, his mother Mary stood by him, sharing his sufferings. May your Church be united with Christ in his suffering and death and so come to share in his rising to new life, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.