Today we remember in a special way the tremendous sorrow known to Jesus’ good mom on so many occasions, but especially when that prophesied “sword of sorrow” pierced her Immaculate Heart as she stood under the Cross, as she held her very dead Divine Son in her arms as He was taken down from the Cross.
When I was a little little boy, just 2 and 3 and 4 years old, my mom would take me with her absolutely everywhere. One of those places, my favorite, was in the dark and empty (but not at all empty, instead mysterious, holy, enthralling, secure for a tiny boy going before God Himself and so full of freedom to rejoice as little me before God who knew that I was there place) crypt church of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Saint Cloud, Minnesota (now totally wreckovated, but then, wonderful).
In the darkness, she would light a big votive candle (the kind in bottles in those days) at the Pietà shrine (an entire side chapel in those days), and then kneel down for the longest time, sometimes bidding me to kneel down with her, which I was happy to do, even though I might have been investigating wherever in that very large crypt church.
Grief comes from love. Sorrow comes from love. Don’t be afraid of grief or sorrow. We go through things on this earth because of the consequences of original sin, but going through grief and sorrow doesn’t mean we are being punished. It means there is love abounding. No need to be bitter about it. Let your heart be stolen away to heaven. That might leave a hole in your chest, but hey! We can follow our heart.
As I grew older and learned how to read, I read that verse from the Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah carved in large lettering at the base of that Pietà: Look and see you who pass by the way, if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.
And that means: Look and see, you who pass by the way, if there is any love like my love.
Thank you, blessed Mother, for looking upon Jesus, always your little boy, and me too, with your maternal love. Thank you.
P.S. If anyone in Saint Cloud, MN would make a pilgrimage to the crypt church of Saint Mary’s Cathedral and take a picture of the hand-carved wood Pietà (which has a Native American motif) and send it to me I would be most appreciative.