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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Mary remained at the foot of the Cross

March 5
“When the hour came the disciples fled, but Mary remained at the foot of the Cross, near her Son’ she was prepared, she was ready for anything,
even this.”
- Federico Suarez
For Reflection:
In light of Matthew 7:14, how did the narrow way prepare Mary For Golgotha? How has each contradiction and sorrow of your life prepared you for the next? With a supernatural outlook, see how these sufferings and difficulties have formed the path of your own Via Dolorosa. Giving your fiat at the foot of this, your cross, unite them to the Cross of Our Lord. Journal your insights.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: The chalice with the Lord

March 4
“To drink the chalice with the Lord (Mt. 20:21) means dying to one’s natural self – both in the sensitive and in the spiritual part. Only in this way can one enter the narrow way.”
-St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
For Reflection:
Recall again that Scripture and Tradition tell us that Mary stood at the foot of the Cross. What is the significance of this stance and what does it indicate about Mary? How was this a “dying to one’s natural self,” in the sense and emotions as well as in the spirit? Read Matthew 7:14. Mary’s fiat gained was her gate to the narrow way, a way she followed all her life. What is your current sorrow? How can it be a narrow way for you?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: The Crucifixion

Jesus on the cross

March 3
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
blood-stained Cross;
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.
For Reflection:
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?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Mary's Knowledge

March 2
“We may well suppose that no one, except our Blessed Lord Himself, ever fully understood the Passion, or grasped all its horrors in their terrible and repulsive completeness. Yet Mary’s knowledge of it is the only one which came at all near to His, and simply because of the excess of heavenly light which shown unsettlingly upon her sinless soul.”
- Father Frederick Faber
For Reflection:
How does Father Faber’s reflection echo Father Suarez’s reflection? Envision the gaze between Jesus and Mary when they meet on the Via Dolorosa. Enter into it. What were Mary’s eyes saying to her Son? What were Jesus’ eyes saying to His mother? Journal their unspoken conversation. Now envision Our Lord and Our Lady turning to you. What do their eyes say to you? What do your eyes respond?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: The closeness of all the saints to Jesus

March 1
“The closeness of all the saints to Jesus in His Passion has in all cases been directly related to their degree of sanctity, and to the degree in which they possessed this divine life. The more identified they were with Christ, the more Christ lived in them, the greater was the intensity with which they could feel and participate in His Passion.”
- Federico Suarez
For Reflection:
In light of this quote, consider the fact that Mary was preserved from sin from the moment of her conception. What does this indicate about the intensity with which she could feel and participate in the Passion of her Son? With this in mind meditate again on Mary’s fourth dolor. Journal your insights and reflections.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Jesus and Mary Meet

Statue of Mary and Jesus

February 28
The Fourth Dolor: Jesus and Mary Meet on the Via Dolorosa
The Fourth Dolor of Our Lady’s heart is tied to the Fourth Station of the Cross. Though not supported by Sacred Scripture, early legends of the Church tell us that Mary journeyed with Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, and “swooned away for anguish of heart” when she saw Him. What must it have been like to behold her Son in such a state of suffering?
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman said this in his reflection on this dolor: Mary would rather have had all his sufferings herself, could that have been, than not to have known what they were by ceasing to be near him. ... He was now carrying the load of the world’s sins, and, all holy though he was, he carried the image of them on his very face. ... what a meeting of Mother and Son! Yet there was a mutual comfort, for there was a mutual sympathy.
For Reflection:
Read St. Luke’s account of The Way of the Cross (23:26-31). Picture yourself in the scene as one of the women along the way. Imagine the encounter between Mary and Jesus. Journal your thoughts, inspirations, insights, and emotions.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Joy before sorrow

joys before sorrows

February 27
“God sends us joys before sorrows, to prepare our hearts; but the joys themselves contain prophesies of coming sorrows.”
- Father Frederick Faber
For Reflection:
Consider the main events of Mary’s life as recorded in Scripture up to this present dolor. They are the Annunciation, The Nativity, The Flight into Egypt, The Presentation, The Loss and Finding of Jesus in the Temple. What is the joy contained in each? What is the prophesy of the sorrow contained in each? For what was God preparing Mary’s heart? Do you think it could also be true that the sorrow also prepares our heart for greater joy? Why might this be the case?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: The virtues of the Immaculata

February 26
“Reclothe oneself, within and without, with the virtues of the Immaculata: the theological virtues and the cardinal virtues, the moral and the religious, so as to become as it were 'another Mary living, speaking, and working.'”
-Father Stefano Manelli
For Reflection:
Reread Luke 2: 43-52. As you read, jot down the virtues you see in Mary or think would have been necessary for her in this suffering. In what ways do you think Mary lived these virtues prior to this dolor? Which of these virtues do you most need to emulate? How can practicing them now prepare you for potential trials the future may bring? Is there one you need to exhibit now? Ask Mary to procure the grace you need to do so.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Refer everything to God

February 25
“We must refer everything to God. It is the secret of being holy.”
-Father Frederick Faber
For Reflection:
This simple quote contains a deep and provocative message. Why do you think referring everything to God is the secret of being holy? How do we see Mary referring the pain of the third dolor of her heart to the will of God? How do you seek to live the reality of this quote? What current circumstance in your life is God asking you to refer to Him? Ponder it in your heart and journal your insights.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Jesus in the Temple

February 24
The Third Dolor: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
During the time of Jesus, it was the custom for faithful Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. Nazareth, the home of the Holy Family, was approximately 60 miles away but the hilly topography added another 26 miles to the trip. Pilgrimages consisted of two groups – one comprised of men and the other of women. Children could travel with either. That is why it was not until evening that Mary and Joseph discovered Jesus was missing.
For Reflection:
Read Luke 2: 43-52. Imagine the panic Mary and Joseph must have felt when they discovered Jesus was missing and how it mounted as they searched for Him for three days. How does Mary’s interaction with Jesus at verse 48 show her concern? What word does she use to describe it? C. S. Lewis says that “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” How does this quote apply to Our Lady at this moment? How does she demonstrate faith in spite of lack of understanding?
  

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