Today in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Marian memorial known as Our Lady of Sorrows. This traditional devotion, which helps us understand Mary’s role in the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, began in 1814 by Pope Pius VII. Many of the Church Fathers and other saints wrote on how Mary is united with Christ in his suffering and how we are to suffer with Christ as well. Focusing on the Cross, which is how Christians should unite their suffering with Christ, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen says this,
“Unless there is a Cross in our lives there will never be a resurrection. The Christian law of life is we have to die in order to live. Now I do not mean and He did not mean physically dying. He meant mortification, self-denial, the application of the Cross in our lives.”
If you don’t know or haven’t realized it yet, suffering is very much a part of the Christian lifestyle, and although following Christ brings us happiness and joy, suffering is something that we all must learn to embrace. Jesus says in the Scriptures, pick up your cross and follow me. He does not say if you follow me, life will be a bed of roses.
As Catholics, we are reminded of this very concept every time we walk into a Catholic Church and see the crucifix in the sanctuary. As she is in all things that pertain to the Christian faith, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect example for us when it comes to suffering with Christ. Although she was free of all sin because of her Immaculate Conception, she still had to endure great pains and mental suffering as she watched Jesus’ Passion and Death.
To wrap up today’s short blog post, here are the many other posts I have written in previous years that focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother and Lady of Sorrows.
Our Lady of Sorrows…Pray for Us