Saturday, September 15, 2007

Our superficiality and inconstancy get in way of understanding sorrows of Mary

tip: Doctors of the Catholic Church and Magnificat

Meditation of the Day

Our Lady of Sorrows

We understand but little of the sorrows of Mary, for little grieves us except what wounds our bodies, our self-love, our vanity, or our pride. We suffer too from men’s ingratitude, from the afflictions of our family or our native land. But sin grieves us but little…

Our superficiality and our inconstancy prevent us from seeing what an evil sin is; precisely because it strikes so deep it cannot be known by those who look only at the surface. In its manner of ravaging souls and society, sin is like one of those diseases which affect vital but hidden organs, and which the sufferer is ignorant of even while they near a crises.

To experience salutary grief, grief for sin, it is necessary truly to love God whom sin offends and sinner whom it destroys…

But to know just how far grief of sin can go, one must turn to the heart of Mary. Her grief sprang from an unequalled love for God, for Jesus crucified, and for souls – a love which surpassed that of the greatest saints, and even of all the saints united, a love which had never ceased to grow, a love which had never been restrained by the slightest fault or imperfection. Isfsuch was Mary’s love, what must her grief have been!

Unlike us who are so superficial, she saw with piercing clarity what it was that caused the losses of so many souls: the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, the pride of life. All sins combined to add to her grief; all revolts against God, all out burst of sacrilegious rage…

Mary’s grief was deep as was her love, both natural and supernatural, of her Son. She love him with a virginal love, most pure and tender; loved him as her only Son, miraculously conceived, and as her God. To understand Mary’s dolors, one would need to have received, as did the stigmatics, the impression of the wounds of the Savior…

On the hill of Calvary, grace and charity overflowed from the heart of Jesus to the heart of his Mother. He it was who sustained her, just as it was she who sustained Saint John. Jesus offered up her martyrdom as well as his own, and she offered herself with her Son, who was more dear to her than her own life. If the least of the acts of Nazareth increased Mary’s charity, what must have been the effect of her participation in the cross of Jesus!

Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (+ 1964) was a great Dominican theologian who produced over five hundred books and articles.

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