Failure in Church leadership, a rejection of faith by the culture, and ruthless attacks on the dignity of the unborn are systemic in our age. Sorrow, loneliness, and fear for the future due to the present moment are all palpable feelings in the human condition for our current time period. When the societal storm waves crash into our lives, we must cling to the witness and presence of Our Lady of Sorrows and allow her to be the lighthouse that brings us safely to shore.
Traditionally, Christian art has highlighted the Blessed Mother standing in mourning, but also in power, at the Cross while Jesus slowly suffocates and dies for us. Most people are also aware of the famous and beautiful statue of the Pieta, with Mary holding the lifeless body of the Lord. During and directly after salvation there is tremendous sorrow that is encapsulated by the Mother of God. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows follows the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross for just that reason.
On September 15th, the Church remembers that both the Incarnation and Crucifixion involved Mary’s sorrow. Simeon foretold that “a sword would pierce” her heart (Luke 2:35), and Christ breathed His last with His Mother and John at His feet (John 19:30). Her lesson for practicing Catholics is to place our attention on her Son while we travel through this valley of tears and rollercoaster ride of tribulations. Catholic beliefs will be heavily highlighted in forthcoming headlines because of the Heartbeat Bill in Texas and President Biden’s choice to double down against irrefutable Catholic teaching. Our invitation is to stand tall amidst the sorrow.