I have never seen a person die. The closest I have come was seeing my Grandpa Breen in hospice care the night before he died. He was semi-unconscious as I came late at night with my Rosary. I prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at his bedside. As I left I gave him a kiss and taped a Divine Mercy prayer card above his bed, knowing how much he loved this devotion.
Today we remember how Our Lady stood by the side of her dying Son as He hung upon the Cross, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.
I cannot imagine what that must have been like for Mary, the grief and emptiness in her soul as she watched the torture of her child. What could have possibly been going through her mind and heart?
But in her pain, Mary was not far off at a distance like the disciples who ran away the night before. Our Lady stood by the cross of Jesus, right next to or underneath it. Imagine the great comfort Jesus must have taken in looking down to see His mother's steady presence in His greatest agony.
As women, there are many unique types of sorrow we may endure in our lifetime: messy or broken relationships, the loss of a child or spouse, infertility, loneliness, insecurity, trauma, or rejection. No matter the situation, Our Lady is not distant from our own sorrows of life.
As she was with Jesus in His suffering, she is right there with us in our own. As a mother, she may not be able to take away our hurt or pain, but she will be with us in the midst of it. Mary will stand with us through the pain as she did with her Son.
If you are not familiar with the devotion, The Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, take some time today to reflect on one or two of the decades.
Whatever sorrow is in your heart, bring it to our Heavenly Mom today.
Patty Breen is a full-time lay minister who finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, and all things Ignatian spirituality. A Midwest gal from the mitten state, she is constantly learning to find grace in all things. She is passionate about ministry to divorced Catholics and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction. Find out more about her here.