Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jn 19:25-27 Sorrow

Our Lady of Sorrows


Standing by 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 there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Mothers are incredible. For a mother, nothing is more important in the entire world than her child. She wants to keep her child with her forever.
This past week, I went to a college fair affiliated with my high school. Looking at colleges is such an overwhelming process for me, especially because I still feel like I am twelve years old. I looked at a few colleges, but I just wasn’t feeling the crowds, the hundreds of booths, and especially thought of taking the SAT again (yikes). So, I called my mom and told her I wanted to leave. My mother is a very academic woman, so I thought she would be disappointed in me for not spending the entire time fawning over Vanderbilt and the Ivy Leagues. After all, she graduated top of her class in nursing school, and is still going back to school for more degrees in medicine. But instead, she just gave me a big hug and told me I could stay with her forever. Oh, mom. Clearly, I am not going to stay with my mother forever. But I am sure she would love that.
Or, has it ever occurred to you that your mother understands you better than you understand yourself? Sometimes, when I am in a bad mood and don’t really know why, my mom knows the reason better than I do. There is no better reader of facial expressions or tone of voice than a mother. More succinctly put, mothers understand.
I am positive that this is how Mary understood her Son. On a saccharine, cutesy level, she probably knew what Jesus’ favorite meal was. She dressed him, fed him, bathed him when he was a child. She probably knew all those seemingly inconsequential quirks about how Jesus liked things. For example, my mom has stored away in her brain (behind all the medical knowledge) that my favorite dinner plate isthe plastic one with the blue flower pattern on it. She knows which three exact brands of laundry detergent that I am allergic to. Mary knew all of those things about her Son.
If we want to understand Jesus, there is nobody better to ask than Mary. You can bet the farm that she didn’t only know the small things about him; she knew His personality, His way of going about the day, and most of all, how He loved the people around Him.
All that is cute and wonderful, but what we sometimes neglect about Mary is how much she suffered alongside her Son. How could she not? How could a mother bear to see someone that she knew inside and out being seized by cruel, unknowing savages and nailed to a cross? She had to see her Son, once so full of life, staggering and falling under the weight of sin. The head she had kissed and put to bed at night was now scratched beyond recognition, mocked with a crown of thorns.   How could a mother bear it?
This is another reason why we should love Mary so much: she could bear it because she knew that her Son was redeeming us. I heard a homily last night for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross that made me think about this. The priest retold the plot of a movie he had seen. There was a father who brought his son to his work at a bridge crossing. The father’s job was to raise and lower the bridge so that trains could pass over the river. The father had to leave and attend to something, and left his son standing on the track because no train was scheduled for another two hours. However, while the father was gone, a train came early. He had to decide: should he lower the bridge and let his son be crushed by the train, or let the passengers on the train all plunge into the river? He ultimately decided in great agony to let the bridge down, killing his son.
The most obvious parallel that comes to mind with this story is the sacrifice of the Father in giving Jesus, his Son. But didn’t Mary do the same? Didn’t she give her beloved Son as well? She bore a lifetime of agony for our salvation. And she bore it willingly, without question or protest. How great must her love for us be!
Make her sorrow worth it. Be ever cognizant of the price that your mother paid for you. In the movie that I mentioned, only one woman saw the sacrifice that the father made. The rest of the passengers did not even notice. That one woman was a drug addict, and she realized the price that the father paid for her life. She then got clean and worked for her community for the rest of her life. Make that price worth it!
I’m no liturgical expert but in the Mass readings, there was this thing called a ‘sequence’ that was incredibly beautiful. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but this is an excerpt:

O sweet Mother! font of love,

Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

1 comment:

  1. Great food for thought, my friend. You never fail to challenge me to go deeper in my faith.


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