Today we’ll continue on with the fourth through seventh sorrows of Mary. Let’s jump right in.
The Fourth Sorrow: The Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross
"And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him." Luke 23:27
Think of how devastating it would be to see a person, let alone your own son, scarred, bruised, bleeding, with ripped clothes, and in unimaginable pain. The physical and mental pain they were putting our Lord through was witnessed by His, and our, mother.
The Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion
It was at the crucifixion of our Lord that Mary became the spiritual Mother of Christ’s followers. He, in His infinite love, wisdom, and mercy, gave Mary to John, and John to Mary. She was right there when He was getting crucified. From the moment Simeon gave his prophecy to Mary and Joseph, Mary knew she was in for sorrow and pain. She knew the pain would be intense enough to pierce her soul.
“They crucified Him. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother…” John 19:25
The Sixth Sorrow: Taking Down the Body of Jesus from the Cross
How final was our Lord’s death to our Mother when she was with those taking down His body! His torn, bruised, bloody, and limp body would have been such a tough sight to bear, such a tough circumstance for any mother to have to suffer through. Kindly, there was a man, Joseph of Arimathea, who was strong enough to go to Pilate and ask for Christ’s body.
"Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counselor, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen." Mark 15:43-46
The Seventh Sorrow: The Burial of Jesus
Sometimes I wonder if Mary had known ahead of time that Christ would return in three days, the sorrows and burdens she bore would have been a little less difficult to bear. Still seeing her son in that state, then removing His body from the cross, and burying His body hastily in a tomb (in order to be done by the time the Sabbath started) would have been excruciating. Burying His body was the culmination of her sorrows.
There are several meditations available for each of the sorrows, and in order to pray the chaplet, one is to pray seven sets. Each set begins with an Our Father, followed by seven Hail Marys. At the end, three more Hail Marys are said in honor of the Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother (taken from the appendix of 33 Days to Morning Glory).
Reflection Question 1: Now that we’ve gone over all of Mary’s Seven Sorrows, which would be the hardest for you to handle?
Reflection Question 2: Does this devotion seem like one you’d be interested in working into your life on a regular (or even somewhat regular) basis?
Act: Take a moment to reflect on the sorrows of Mary, and the wonderful gifts she bestows on those who take time to participate in her devotion of the Seven Sorrows.