We live in a world and in a culture that seems to want to live forever, and never ever talk about suffering or death. But for the Christian, these are two ideas we must embrace for Christ himself told us to pick up our cross and follow him. If you don’t know already, picking up crosses, carrying crosses, is hard work, work that endures pain and suffering. However, if we suffer with Christ, then we will rise with Christ as well. Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus say – if you follow me, life will be a bed of roses. It’s just not the case. Although there is great joy and hope in being a Christian and following Christ, we must also know that pain, suffering, and eventual death awaits us.
I often think to myself that people on social media, specifically Facebook, seem to be doing so well all the time. It seems most of the time you see people getting engaged, getting married, or having babies. However, if you look more closely and you follow your Facebook “friends” more closely, you realize that there is a lot of suffering that happens in the lives of these friends. In the past three days I have learned about some friends losing a parent, which is not easy let me tell you, as well as friends learning that their young child has cancer.
It is in these times where we must trust in our Lord Jesus Christ that all will be in according to the divine economy of God. It is in these times when we must trust, when we must hope, and when we must look to the Blessed Virgin Mary. If there is one woman, one mother, who suffered more for her child, it is Mary of Nazareth. She endured much pain and suffering being the Mother of Jesus Christ, and I am not only talking about watching him be crucified on Calvary.
Bearing Mary’s suffering, for today’s “Mondays with Mary”; I draw upon the words of Mother Angelica as she explains what Mary endured as the Mother of God. If you know someone who is struggling right now to understand suffering, or you know someone that is suffering some type of pain, you might want to share this post with them, since Mother’s word’s bring great peace and consolation. The great Poor Clare says,
“Look at Our Lady, that magnificent woman. Is there anyone you ever heard of who suffered as much as she has? Having to run from a tyrant, having your Child born in a stable, finally presenting that Child in the temple and having the High Priest say, ‘This Child is destined for the fall and rise of many’ (Luke 2:24). Whew, what mother would love to hear that? Losing Him for three days, finding Him for so many years, and then seeing Him humiliated by those who should have known Him and accepted Him and loved Him – seeing Him ostracized by His own. Finally, seeing His apostles run in fear, betray Him, and deny Him, and then to watch Him die on a cross. What woman suffered as much as she did? Who dares call pain evil?
Our Sweet Mother went through the darkness in the valley of the shadow of death over and over as an example for you and me. That’s the kind of faith the Lord expects of us, that kind of total abandonment.
Our Lady suffered with her Son. You’ve got to suffer with her Son too, and so do I. Jesus says, ‘Take up your cross upon yourself, and I will help you with it. Learn from Me.’ We don’t often think of God trusting us. When we have crosses and more crosses on top of them, He is trusting us. If you accept them obediently and go forward with His help, your soul is being purified bit by bit and becomes beautiful before the Lord.”
To read more about the Suffering Mother, I would suggest you check out a recent “Mondays with Mary” I wrote back in March, titled, Jesus, Mary, and the Cross. In this post, it has other blog posts that speak about the suffering Our Lady endured as the Mother of Jesus Christ.
Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for Us.
Mother Angelica…Pray for Us.