Sunday, 24 May 2009

Our Lady of Sorrows

This week I have to apology for not continuing the last weeks thread and not having a reflection on todays Gospel, even though it is the great feast of the Ascension. I have had a bad dose of the flu in the last few days, and have been confined to my room. Our exams start tomorrow (Monday), so preparation are way behind schedule (as in, hardly existing).
So any prayers for my exams are really appreciated!

Anyway, to keep some activity on the blog, I just past in a draft of a talk I wrote a week ago for a class during the week on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows:

AN initially reaction when we hear the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows been mentioned, can result in a feeling of inner contradiction. It would indeed be if we would focus on the sorrowful aspect of the feast, but I think there is much more to be gained from a reflection on this feast than that there is a loss.

It is because the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows helps to make the life of our Lady more real, it puts realism into a possible idealistic image we have of Our Lady. Often when we think about Her we think of beautiful pictures or statues, in which she holds the child Jesus, or in which she is seated as the Queen of Heaven while being surrounded by all the angels and saints.

It is possible that the devotion to Mary can get a very unreal aspect in many ways, and it might result in throwing up a separation between Her and ourselves, as she seems to be to distant from us, to disconnected from our daily experience of life, to much maybe as a Queen in a palace who does not know what it is to be among the common folk.

However, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows shows us that Mary's life on earth was not different from our own, and realising that she is close to our experiences is nothing but an enrichment in our relation with her. She too lived in a fallen world, she too had the difficulties we have.

We can imagine the anxiety the prophecy of Simeon would have caused, and the feeling of isolation when the Holy Family had to flee into Egypt. Also, we might be able to recognise the anguish and stress the loss of the child Jesus in Jerusalem must have resulted in, and off course the pain Holy Week would have caused while she knew her Son was going to die and she cold do nothing but support him in prayer while Jesus was accused, condemned, carried His cross and was crucified and died.

The sorrow of Our Lady when she held the death body of her Son in her arms must have been unequaled with the pain of loss in any relation just on the strength of intimacy and purity of her relationship with Jesus in which was no sin. Reflecting on the sorrows in Our Lady's life encourages us to think of here as somebody who understands us, who has lived through the same difficulties, has suffered incomprehensible losses but at the end of the day completely trusted on God: "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum", "Let it be done to me according to your word".

With Mary we can walk the way of life and with her we can contemplate the life of her Son. Nobody can better give us an understanding of Him than she, as no human being has been as close to Him as she is. Mary can bring us too Jesus through her understanding of our situations, and asking her to walk with us, teach us the true way of holiness, to ask her to bring us to her son, and to trust her to be our guide on the road to heaven.

2 comments:

Karinann said...

Bro. Luuk,
This is a beautiful post. I was reminded of something I once read by St. Therese of Liseux in which she talked about not being able to connect with mary when she thinks of her in her perfect queenly role but would rather think of her in her day to day life.(I am paraphrasing)
I often struggle with my devotion to Mary as well, but when I think of her in this way I feel a deeper connection.
Hope you are feeling better and good luck with your exams!
God Bless.

Colleen said...

Beautiful post. I too struggle with my devotion to Mary, except when I need to talk to her, mother to mother! God bless.

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