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Monday, September 15, 2008

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Hebrews 5:7-9
Psalm 31
John 19:25-27
or Luke 2:33-35

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praying to suffer

"You yourself shall be pierced with a sword — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare." —Luke 2:35

We have a special prayer (a sequence) for today's feast day honoring Mary, the Sorrowful Mother. In this prayer, we ask to be pierced through our hearts with each wound of Jesus crucified. We also ask to mingle tears with Mary and share the grief she had at the foot of the cross (see Jn 19:25). We seek to bear in our bodies the death of Jesus even to our last breath (see 2 Cor 4:10). Finally, we again ask to be wounded with every one of Jesus' wounds until we are overwhelmed and faint. This is a prayer few people want to pray, but the Lord calls us to pray it from our hearts.

With Mary, we should pray to know how to suffer by being formed into the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10). We must desire to suffer with Jesus rather than have pleasure without Him. We consider it a privilege not only to believe in Him but to suffer for Him (Phil 1:29). We find joy in the sufferings we endure for the Church. When we suffer innocently and love our enemies, we suffer redemptively and make up in our own bodies what is lacking in Christ's sufferings (Col 1:24). This proves that the Holy Spirit is resting on us (1 Pt 4:14).

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, pray for us to pray for redemptive suffering.

Prayer:  Father, may I consider it a privilege to suffer for You.

Promise:  "Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when perfected, He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:8-9

Praise:  Mary earned the title Our Lady of Sorrows by bearing up under incredible sorrows. Mary's "Yes" to earthly sorrow has given her eternal honor as the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on A Prophetic Lifestyle on audio AV 75-3 or video V-75.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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