There is a very effective way to imitate Jesus when he returns good for evil (Phil 2:5): having recourse to Our Lady of Sorrows.
Traditionally, the month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. This year, in this context of a pandemic which is disrupting everyone’s personal and professional lives, drawing strength from this devotion seems particularly appropriate. In this difficult time, the Virgin brings the best possible consolation.
Turn your eyes constantly towards the Virgin Mary, she who is Mother of sorrows but also Mother of consolation.
Between the month of August, marked by devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the month of October, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, September is the ideal time to strengthen your relationship with Mary. And communing with your pain is a good way to achieve this.
“Turn your eyes constantly towards the Virgin Mary , she who is Mother of sorrows but also Mother of consolation. She can understand you fully and help you. By looking towards her, by praying to her, your torpor will become serenity, your anguish will be transformed into hope, your mourning into love,” said Saint John Paul II .
In this month of September, it is recommended to unite your sorrows with those of Mary. As amazing as it may seem, it can fill the heart with joy. Here are ten ways to do it:
MAKE SENSE OF YOUR SUFFERING
Take the sufferings you endure and offer them for the reparation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Doing something with your pain allows you not to maintain a lukewarm heart, but on the contrary to let yourself be inflamed by devotion and love, contemplating the pains of Mary and offering sacrifices and acts of reparation such as devotion of the first Saturday of the month. Giving meaning to one’s suffering through these actions is a process that heals both the mind and the heart.
In this month of Mary’s sorrows, try to dwell less on your problems but instead cultivate joy by thinking of the wonderful blessed mother we have in heaven. Are you feeling down? Say a Hail Mary right away. You can also write down your sorrows in a notebook and write a prayer to ask the Virgin to help you relieve them.
RELIEVE SOMEONE ELSE’S PAIN
Help someone else carry their cross for a while, like Simon of Cyrene. There are many ways to do this: by sending a card, by lending an attentive ear to someone who needs to confide a worry, a suffering, a bereavement; by freeing up time and keeping company with someone who feels alone. You can also send a bouquet to someone who is going through a difficult time, with roses or lilies to remember the Virgin! Cooking a good dish for someone who is suffering is another way to bring comfort and be of service.
PRAYING THE ROSARY OR THE SEVEN SORROWS DEVOTION
The devotion of the seven sorrows consists of saying seven Hail Marys, meditating each time on one of the sorrows of the Virgin, namely:
The flight into Egypt
The disappearance of the child Jesus at the temple for three days
The meeting between Jesus and Mary on the way of the cross
The crucifixion and death of Jesus
The taking down of the body of Jesus from the cross and its handing over to his Mother
The rosary of seven sorrows, for its part, consists of meditating on each sorrow as one would for a mystery, saying seven Hail Marys instead of ten. Start each time with an Our Father.
PRAY THE ROSARY, ESPECIALLY THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
As you contemplate Jesus ‘ agony , scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying of the cross, and crucifixion, imagine yourself walking alongside Mary, offering her your loving presence and support, refusing to leave her side. as she witnesses the suffering of her beloved Son.
MAKE A DONATION, EVEN A MODEST ONE
Give what you can to an association that needs it.
PRAY IN COMMUNION WITH SOMEONE
Pray daily for someone who needs it, and tell them that you join them in prayer so that they will feel less alone. This month, you can say this prayer written for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15: O God, whose Passion pierced with a sword of pain the so precious soul of the glorious Virgin Mary, like the had predicted Simeon, allow us who piously commemorate his sorrows, to receive the graces resulting from Your Passion. You who live and reign in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever, Amen.
CREATE A SMALL ALTAR TO OUR LADY OF SORROWS IN YOUR PRAYER CORNER
Choose a card, statue or work of art representing the Virgin and accompany it with a bouquet of flowers that you tend every day as a sign of tenderness. You can also decorate the corner with candles to light during prayer time. Finally, put a small box and ask each member of the family to write an act of charity or mercy that he/she will undertake to carry out during the month of September for the consolation of the sufferings of the Virgin. This may also be an intention they wish to pray for. Ask the Virgin to grace you with a little of her faith and courage! This little box is a good idea for a project to do with the children.
CONTEMPLATE A REPRESENTATION OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
Admire its poignant beauty and nourish your prayer with it. Pay special attention to the tears rolling down her cheeks. They look like pearls and remind us that just as oysters turn sand into pearls, our sorrows can be transformed through Jesus and Mary.
LISTEN TO SONGS TO THE VIRGIN
Listening to a Hail Mary or any other song dedicated to the Virgin is another way of entering into communion with her and of entrusting ourselves more specifically to her intercession during this month of September.