Another in the Mary Moment Monday series

This week, on September 15, we celebrate one of my favorite feasts of Mary, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

She’s a special Mary to me, one who’s close to my heart, who knows my heart, who speaks to my heart. She’s the Mary who holds me when I let my guard down and just sob, when I shake my fist and God and ask Him what in the world He could be thinking, when I throw tantrums and stomp away and then curl up in a heap.

Suffering unites us in a way few other things can. Being able to picture Mary wracked with grief, torn apart with pain, clinging to a scrap of hope despite the torture of continuing to live…somehow, this makes her approachable in the midst of the turmoil of my life. I see her there, at eye level for once, and I recognize the tears hovering, ready to fall. She comes closer, offering me her shoulder: not advice, not an admonition to toughen up, not anything more than just herself.

I haven’t suffered greatly, not really. But I have watched, many times helplessly, as others have suffered. Maybe that is its own special kind of suffering, the suffering where you watch those you love and the only help you can offer is turning your tear-streaked face to God.

This week, when I see evidence of the many ways in which my life is filled with blessings and not filled with suffering, I’ll be reaching out to my Mother of Sorrows. When I see horror in my world, injustice and unfairness, or just plain mean “life ain’t fair”-ness, she’ll be the one I ask for help. I’ll greet my old friend Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, and we’ll hug through the tears that will inevitably flow.

In that vein, if you have any special intentions you’d like me to remember this week, feel free to let me know. Maybe I can take them to Mother Mary on your behalf.

My latest column is over at Faith & Family Live:Turning to Mary in Suffering.” I share a few favorite devotions and some reflections that came out with tears, no extra charge. This ranks as one of the more painful pieces I’ve written, and I’ll admit to you…I tried to avoid it. I attempted to write a more sterile, less personal piece. What came out, and what just would not go away, was the start you’ll read over there. (Because, yes, I have more to say. I just couldn’t get it all out.)

Last year, over at Today’s Catholic Woman, I wrote a feature about Our Lady of Sorrows. If you’re interested in the history of the title and a bit more of my own take on this title, you might stop over and give it a peek.

image from Marian Mantle