Inspiration from Our Lady
September is the month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. This September is an especially fitting time for us to find strength in this devotion, as we adjust to challenges with work and school, societal upheaval, and an unusually tempestuous weather. Our masked world can feel surreal, as we stay at least two metres apart from our each other. Our Lady offers us, as always, the best possible consolation.
Immediately following August’s devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and preceding October’s devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, September is an ideal time to strengthen our connection to Mary. So, what better moment is there to immerse ourselves in her sorrows? The love and compassion we feel as we meditate upon her sorrows allows us to forget or transcend our own for a time. Further, we are reminded that our Mother truly understands us and is with us with her love and prayer.
In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish change into hope, and your grief into love.” This month let’s unite our sorrows to Mary’s. Before we know it, we’ll actually be more joyful!
For example, we all have problems or difficulties we face and cope with, let’s offer them up this month for the reparation of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. In this month of Mary’s Sorrows, dwell less on your own troubles and cultivate joy just by thinking of the wonderful Blessed Mother we have! Feeling low? Say a Hail Mary on the spot. Offer to carry someone’s cross a bit, like Simon of Cyrene. You could send a card, closely listen when someone wants to talk about a worry, a grief or a pain. Offer to pray or cook someone a meal that tastes so good they forget their troubles! Now that’s real ‘comfort food’.
Have you heard of the Seven Sorrows Rosary? The Seven Sorrows devotion involves praying seven Hail Marys a day, each one while meditating on one of Our Lady’s seven sorrows, which are:
- The prophecy of Simeon.
- The flight into Egypt.
- The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple.
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
- The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross and preparation for burial.
- The burial of Jesus.
And the Seven Sorrows Rosary involves dwelling upon each of the seven sorrows as you would one of the mysteries of the Rosary, with seven Hail Marys instead of a decade. Begin each sorrow with an Our Father.
One practice I love, is singing hymns to Mary, Marian hymns, when around the house, in the garden or the shower! Washing the dishes or hoovering up. While driving or just humming in my head, songs, and words of devotion to Our Blessed Lady. Don’t worry if you’re a bit out of tune or claim you can’t sing, by the time your words reach heaven they will sound perfect and lifted your soul!
Fr David Jones, OLW