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Lessons on Suffering from Our Lady of Sorrows

Originally written for Lent, this series of posts contains reflections on the Seven Sorrows of Mary, with Scriptures, meditations, questions, and a prayer for each one. Mary’s sorrows are in many ways relatable to ours if we put ourselves in her place and recognize what she was feeling in each one. She is willing and able to accompany us, intercede for us, and give us the grace to bear our own sufferings with faith, hope, and love. Let’s learn from her and follow her example.

The First Sword of Sorrow – The Prophecy of Simeon

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35

The Second Sword of Sorrow – The Flight to Egypt

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13

The Third Sword of Sorrow – The Loss of Jesus for Three Days in Jerusalem

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Luke 2:46-50

The Fourth Sword of Sorrow – Meeting Jesus on the Road to Calvary

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Luke 23:27-29

The Fifth Sword of Sorrow – The Death of Jesus

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. John 19:25-27

The Sixth Sword of Sorrow – Receiving the Body of Jesus Taken Down from the Cross

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. John 19:38

The Seventh Sword of Sorrow – The Burial of Jesus

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:40-42

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