The Fifth Dolor: The Crucifixion
In a garden Mary stood when Springtime’s radiant beauty
Wrapped the world in sunlight and filled her heart with joy.
Down the garden-path there ran a slender little Figure
Bringing her a gift of love - He, her God, her Boy!
Mary opened wide her arms to take her sheaf of lilies:
"Mother!" called her little Son, and never had she heard
In the angel’s message, in brooklet, or in bird-song,
Music half so lovely as that one tender word.
On a hill-top Mary stood one sadder, later Springtime.
All the earth was wrapped in gloom beneath that
Memories thronged about her, memories of His Childhood,
Adding to her loneliness, her pain, her sense of loss.
Mary opened wide her arms but His were nailed securely
"Mother!" breathed her dying Son, and never had she heard
In her sword-pierced heart that knew the very depths of sorrow
Anything approaching the pathos of that word.
"Mother! Mother Mary!" a million hearts are calling,
"Open wide again those arms, and in their warm embrace,
Take the children Jesus gave you on that darkened hill-top
When He named you Mother of the sin-stained human race."
-Sr. Maryanna. Robert, Cyril. Our Lady’s Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944. From the Mary Pages, University of Dayton.
Today’s poem gives one person’s reflections on what Mary could have been thinking and feeling as she watched her Son die. What aspect of this poem helps you to enter most deeply into Mary’s fifth dolor? Why do you think it touches you so?
Prayerfully read St. John’s account of the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (19:16-30). Stand beneath the cross with Our Lady. What are you thinking and experiencing in that moment? How do you show solidarity with Our Lady? She with you? What suffering of your own life do you seek to unite to hers?