the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Lady at the Foot of the Cross
It is written
in the Holy Gospel that a sword shall pierce the Heart of the Virgin.
This Heart, pierced by a sword, of course, means nothing else than
her association with the Passion of her Divine Son. The Gospel also
says that the Blessed Virgin Mary was standing beside Our Lord Jesus
Christ during His Passion and at the moment of His death: "Stabat
Mater iuxta Crucem."
must not deny that Divine Providence wanted to associate the Blessed
Virgin Mary not only with His birth, to His coming on earth and
to His infancy, to His hidden life and to His public life, but above
all to His Passion. Indeed, if the most important moment - "the
hour" of Our Lord Jesus Christ - was the moment of His death
on the cross, the hour of His Passion, that of the Blessed Virgin
Mary was that of her Compassion, of her intimate union with the
Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
to the Sorrows of Our Lady
is very old in the Church. We do not know exactly when the feasts
of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady and of the Compassion of the Blessed
Virgin began. However, in the Church, some religious societies were
founded through the direct intervention of the Virgin Mary herself,
in order to meditate on her sorrows and especially on her compassion.
The Servites of Mary are a good example, established by the Seven
Founders upon a request of the Blessed Virgin Mary herself; they
are particularly dedicated to meditation on her sufferings, to union
with the Sorrowful Virgin.
dedicated to this contemplation is that of the Passionists of St.
Paul of the Cross. The Passionists have had many saints in their
congregation. It was a most fervent congregation. One of their saints,
St. Gabriel of the Addolorata, took the name of " Addolorata"
precisely because he wanted to spend his life meditating on the
sufferings of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Associate Ourselves with Jesus Suffering
Why this meditation?
Why this union with the Blessed Virgin Mary in her Compassion, in
her suffering, in her transfixion? In order to associate ourselves
more intimately with the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
there were ever a Heart, which suffered with the Heart of Jesus
pierced on the cross, if ever there were a soul whose thoughts were
united with those of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, it was
the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary! She had never sinned, and
like Our Lord, she did not need to make reparation for herself.
Yet both wanted to suffer, to suffer horribly, to suffer deeply,
to suffer in their bodies.
Hearts Burning with Charity
Let us then
try to penetrate the sentiments of these two Hearts, the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary. It is obvious that both the Passion of Our Lord
Jesus Christ and the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary were
profoundly motivated by Charity.
were devoured by charity, burning with love of the Holy Ghost. Our
Lord, Word of God, one substance with the Holy Ghost, was devoured
by the love of the Holy Ghost, by this Holy Spirit who set on fire
all His Being. The person of the Word but also His Soul, His Body,
His Heart of flesh, were inflamed by the Holy Ghost. The Virgin
Mary imitated her Divine Son and she too tried to model her sentiments
on those of her Divine Son. She too was filled with the Holy Ghost.
This was so for her whole life but without any doubt, in a very
particular way during the Passion.
Restore the Honor of the Father
We must never
forget that the first and main goal of these two Hearts inflamed
by the Holy Ghost was the love of the Father.
of the Holy Ghost, this "Consuming Fire," leads to the
Father. It is none other than the love of God: "God is Charity."
Therefore, the Holy Ghost can do nothing other than lead us to God,
to lead us to the Father. Thus Jesus was suffering first of all
in order to restore the honor of God the Father. The Virgin Mary,
too, was united with the sufferings of her Divine Son in order to
restore the honor of the Father.
receives infinite glory, really infinite, from His Divine Son. And
He also receives the greatest created glory from a privileged creature.
This creature was the Blessed Virgin Mary, united with her Divine
Son. She was the first to be truly redeemed. She was perfectly redeemed,
in the sense that she has not even known sin. It was in consideration
of the Incarnation of Our Lord that she was Immaculate in her Conception
and thus has never known sin.
At the foot
of the Cross, she sang the glory of the Father in suffering; in
sorrow she sang the glory of God; she wanted to restore the honor
and the glory of God upon earth.
which devoured both of them, made them full of mercy. Indeed, the
immediate consequence of a great love, of a great charity, is mercy.
For this love these Hearts possessed wants to be spread about, wants
to be communicated to those who do not have it, to all those who
are lacking it.
Our Lord Jesus
Christ, seeing all sinful mankind since Adam and Eve, all men who
were to be born in this world - Our Lord Jesus Christ had a clear
vision and full knowledge of this by His Divinity because He is
the Creator and Redeemer of mankind - He knew all this misery, all
these men far from God who don't think of the Father, of their Creator
and Redeemer. Our Lord saw all this and His Heart was filled with
mercy. This mercy leads to sacrifice. Mercy is a source of sacrifice.
It leads all the way to sacrifice because it is ready to give itself
totally so that charity be re-established in the hearts of men.
Thus Our Lord
suffered; He suffered in His Body - in the Garden of the Agony drops
of blood were dripping from His forehead. Our Lord was filled with
mercy. And the Blessed Virgin wanted to share the sufferings of
Our Lord precisely for the same reason. She too thought of all these
souls. Both of them suffered together and wanted to suffer, even
unto death, unto martyrdom.
And if Our
Lord Jesus Christ truly gave His last breath for the glory of His
Father and for the redemption of souls so that the Holy Ghost may
inflame all hearts and all souls with the love of the Most Holy
Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary did not die herself at that moment,
but she offered her life and she suffered martyrdom. She is truly
called the Queen of Martyrs. She too gave herself, all her blood,
all her life, all that she had and, in particular, her Divine Son.
She gave all to the Good Lord for the redemption of souls. Mother
of Mercy, Mater Misericordiae. Such are the origins of the
Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
with Peace and Joy
Far from us
to think that in the Passion there is sadness leading to despair
and that this sadness would have put Jesus and Mary's souls in a
certain kind of despair. No, not at all! Since it was precisely
charity which was the origin of these sufferings, charity produced
in their Hearts peace and joy: Though it might seem unbelievable
to unite passion, suffering and mercy with a profound joy, yet the
Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ was filled with joy indeed; and so
was the Heart of the Virgin Mary, united with that of Our Lord.
They were filled
with the joy of the Most Holy Trinity, the joy given by a great
Charity; the peace, which Charity produces in souls, is an ineffable
peace. Jesus and Mary were not in a torture like many souls who
suffer in their bodies, and who have feelings of deep sorrow and
despair. No, Jesus and Mary did not suffer in this way. They suffered,
but their Hearts were truly in serenity, in peace, which allowed
the Blessed Virgin to remain standing at the foot of the Cross.
If she had not had this peace, if she had not had this Charity,
if she had not had this intimate and profound joy of associating
herself with the sufferings of her Divine Son, of associating herself
with His Charity, of being filled with the Holy Ghost, she could
not have remained standing and the Gospel would not have said ôStabat
Mater." The persons who surrounded the Blessed Virgin most
more than the
Blessed Virgin their exterior suffering - through tears and exterior
feelings. The Virgin remained calm, in peace.
of the Oblates of the Society of St. Pius X
Here you have
your patroness, my most dear Sisters. And you chose to come here
to unite yourselves with us, you chose to come here particularly
to this house of Econe where almost all the Oblates, have come or
with which they are at least all united; you came to associate yourself
with the priests, because the priest is another Christ. The priest
must associate himself with the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
particularly through the Sacrifice that he offers; he must
thereby espouse the feelings of the Heart of Jesus, and also the
feelings of Mary; he must ask the Virgin to make him understand
these feelings in order to feel them more and to espouse them better.
Thus be helpers
of the priests, not only helping them with your hands, but with
your soul and with your spirit, helping in the Priesthood, in the
spirit of sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Cross for the
extension of His reign, for the extension of His love.
In this way
you will unite yourselves in a very special way with the Blessed
Virgin Mary as she was united with her Divine Son, and you will
share His sufferings. You shall contribute in a very powerful way
to the redemption of souls, according to the measure in which you
are able, to the measure, which Divine Providence shall give to
you. You will associate yourselves in a more profound way to the
priesthood, praying for the priests, for the seminarians whom you
serve, that they may become true priests, that they may become truly
other Christs, that they may associate themselves in an even more
profound and more perfect way to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
You will ask
the Blessed Virgin Mary for this grace. Then offer your sufferings,
offer your sacrifices for this intention, so that the Reign of Our
Lord Jesus Christ may be extended.
In the Name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109