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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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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Living faith

February 23
“Living faith is the firm conviction that God exists, the acceptance – as truth – of all that has been revealed by God, and a loving readiness to be led by the divine will.”
-St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
For Reflection:
Mary and Joseph had “living faith” according to this definition – even being led to Egypt at the direction of an angel in a dream. On a scale of 1 to 10, one being “no faith at all” and 10 being “living faith” per the above quote, where are you? Where do you want to be? What can you do today to move you one step forward?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: I am no longer my own

February 22
Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
“I am no longer my own. Whether I live or whether I die, I belong to my Savior. I have nothing of my own. God is my all, and my whole being is His.”
-St. Catherine of Genoa
For Reflection:
How do the saint’s sentiments of heart echo Our Lady’s? How does Mary exhibit this in the second dolor? In the first? To what extent can you make the same statement about yourself?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Whom should I fear?

February 20
Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
Even then will I trust…
For he will hide me in his abode
In the day of trouble;
He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent,
he will set me high upon a rock…
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stout-hearted, and wait for the Lord.
For Reflection:
Meditate on Psalm 27 in light of the Flight into Egypt. Why would this psalm have been an apt prayer for Our Lady and St. Joseph from the time the angel bid them leave for Egypt until their return trip home? What parts of the psalm speak to you most deeply? What part would you most like to emulate?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: An Angel Appears to St. Joseph

February 20
The Second Dolor: The Flight Into Egypt
An angel appears to St. Joseph in a dream and tells him to take the Baby Jesus and Mary to Egypt because Herod is seeking to kill the child. Egypt had been regarded as a place of safe refuge since the time of the Maccabees.
For Reflection:
Read Matthew 2:13-15. What virtues do you see in St. Joseph’s response to the angel’s command? Though not explicitly stated, with what virtues do you think Mary responded (recall her response to the news of Elizabeth’s pregnancy)? What emotions do you think they experienced? Is there an incident in your own life with which you can compare Mary’s experience? What virtues did you exhibit? How was the presence of Christ revealed to you in that time and how did His presence encourage you?
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Every grace

February 19
“Every grace that this world receives is ordinarily distributed in three steps: from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, and from the Virgin to us.”
-St. Bernardine of Siena
For Reflection:
How are these three steps visible in both the moment of Mary’s Annunciation as well as in Simeon’s prophesy at Jesus’ Presentation? Journal any insights or blessings you receive as you ponder this reality.
  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Sanctification of souls

February 18
“God has willed to make use of Mary for the sanctification of souls, having already made use of her to bring about the Incarnation.”

-St. Louis de Montfort

For Reflection:

Consider this quote in light of the First Dolor. How does it apply to Simeon’s prophecy to Our Lady about the sword in her heart? In what way does this apply to her spiritual motherhood? Personally, how have you seen Mary both “birth” Jesus in your heart and work toward your own sanctification?

  

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Ash Wednesday

February 17
The First Dolor: The Prophesy of Simeon
Faithful to the religious observances of their faith, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple forty days after his birth to dedicate Him to God. This was an important custom of the Jewish religion. It was also customary for a wealthy family to bring a lamb and a young pigeon or turtle dove to be sacrificed. Poorer families, however, were permitted to offer two pigeons or two turtle doves for the offering. When the Holy Family arrived at the Temple, they were greeted by a just and pious man named Simeon. His words brought with them the first of Our Lady’s sufferings.
For Reflection:
Read Luke 2: 22-35. What did Simeon prophesy about Jesus? How was it the occasion of great joy and great sorrow for Our Lady? In what way was she called to exemplify the three hallmarks of a handmaid of the Lord – receptivity, trust and surrender?
  

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Join the International Week of Prayer and Fasting!

The 25th International Week of Prayer and Fasting will kick off on October 1, Respect Life Sunday, with the goal of conversion of hearts, the building of a culture of life, protection of marriage and family and for peace in the world.

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