Once Upon a Time I Ran
Imagine for a moment that you are a young pregnant woman… if you aren’t actually a woman go ahead and picture yourself as the spouse of this young lady 😉 Go ahead and appreciate your beautiful growing belly. Look into a hypothetical mirror and see yourself glowing with prenatal bliss! Now imagine giving birth to a perfect, healthy little son.
You marvel and ooh and ahh at this precious little boy. You count every little finger and toe, gently stroking them and marveling at the difference in size.
The first few weeks go by as a blur as you learn how to care for him. He is the light of your life and an absolute joy. When he is 40 days old, a mysterious man approaches you. He informs you that your perfect child will be ridiculed, hated by people that won’t even know him, and finally brutally murdered in the most torturous and barbaric ways possible.
Imagine the invisible sword piercing your heart's depths as you look down at the helpless child in your arms. How could anyone dare to even utter a whisper against someone so innocent, let alone lay a hand against him?
How do you hold back the tears when all you can think about is how this child’s life is going to be ripped from him so ruthlessly? How do you raise a child with this knowledge, when every joy is shadowed by the sorrow of the knowledge of his future? How do you ever let him out of your sight to grow and do his life’s purpose when all you want to do is shelter him and keep him as close to you as possible?
God, in His great mercy, doesn’t reveal the future to us. How loving of Him to allow us to experience life one day at a time so that we don’t agonize about forthcoming events. This allows us to live fully in the present moment.
But this luxury was not spared on His Blessed Mother, who painfully earned the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. She revealed to St. Brigit that while she lived on the earth there was not an hour when this grief did not pierce her soul: As often as I looked upon my Son, as often as I wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, as often as I saw His hands and feet, so often was my soul overwhelmed as it were with a fresh sorrow, because I considered how He would be crucified.
The first of Mary’s many sorrows was during the presentation of Our Lord in the temple. Simeon prophesied that baby Jesus would be the cause for the rise and fall of many in Israel and be a sign that will be contradicted.
Mary, the most perfect mother, fully understands us when we suffer. No sorrow could ever match the depths of her sorrow, but like a true mother, she never hesitates to bring comfort to her children. She longs to wrap her arms around us like a small child and just hold us when our hearts are breaking, and we just can’t find the words to pray.
Mother Mary, just be with me.
Until next time my dear friend, your sister in Christ,