Our Lady of Sorrows
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
As we contemplate the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we realized that the Seven Thrusts of the Sword are:
1) Simeon's Prophecy,
2) the Flight into Egypt,
3) losing the Christ Child for three days,
4) meeting Jesus with His Cross,
5) the Crucifixion,
6) the taking Jesus’ body down from the Cross, and
7) the burial of Jesus.
St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews tells us the word of God is a two-edged sword. St. Thomas quotes St. Ambrose as giving the same interpretation:
"For the Word of God is living and effectual and more piercing than any two-edged sword."
One edge of this sword, to speak metaphorically, Christ ran into His Own Sacred Heart, in the sense that He willed all the sufferings of His life, from Bethlehem to Calvary. Since the Lord willed to be a "Man of Sorrows," He willed that Mary should be the "Mother of Sorrows." But it was no imposed will; she accepted it all in her original Fiat in the Annunciation.
The Sword He plunged into His Heart, He, with her cooperation, plunged into her own. He could hardly have done this if she were not His Mother, and if they were not in a spiritual sense "two in one flesh," "two in one mind." The sorrows of His Passion were His, but His Mother considered them as her own, too, for this is the meaning of Compassion.
There were not Seven Swords, but only one, and it plunged into two Hearts. The Seven Sorrows are as seven thrusts of the Sword Christ, one edge for Him as Redeemer, the other edge for Her as the Mother of the Redeemer. Christ is the Sword of His own Passion; He is the Sword of her compassion.
The Venerable Pope Pius XII says that she, as the true Queen of Martyrs, more than any of the faithful, filled up for His Body the Church the sufferings that were wanting to the Passion of Christ! Since Christ loved mankind so much as to want to die to expiate their guilt, then He should also will that His Mother, who lived only to do His Will, should also be wrapped in the swaddling bands of His griefs.
St. Paul tells us that we cannot be partakers of His Glory unless we partake also of His Crucifixion. If, then, the sons of Mary are not exempt from the law of sacrifice, certainly Mary herself, who is the Mother of God, shall be less exempt. Hence Sequence Hymn for today’s Feast, the Stabat Mater, pleads that Mary's compassion with Christ be shared with us:
At the cross, your sorrow sharing,
All your grief and torment bearing,
Let me stand and mourn with you.
Fairest maid of all creation,
Queen of hope and consolation,
Let me feel your grief sublime.
Virgin, in your love befriend me,
At the Judgment Day defend me.
Help me by your constant prayer.