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Seven Sorrows of Mary

 

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First of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

The prophet Simeon announces to Mary that a sword of sorrow will pierce her soul.

In this sorrow pray for the conversion of hearts.

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword of sorrow will pierce your own soul too.’ (Luke 2: 33 – 35).

Mother Mary teach me to love you as you listened to Simeon’s prophecy of sorrow and a wounded heart. In your Sorrowful Immaculate Heart teach me to see Jesus in the light of your shared sorrow. Each time I say ‘I love you’ let me share in your love for Jesus your Son, who is my saving-healing Lord. Pray that I may experience new life as I yield my life to Him. Jesus, have mercy on us all. Heal the world. Lord, I recognize how I have been touched by the world’s sin and weariness: have mercy on me! Lord, I recognize how I have been touched by the world’s faithlessness and deceits: have mercy on me! Lord, as I contemplate your mother’s sorrows and your own suffering transform my heart.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

SECOND SORROW

The Holy Family flee as refugees to Egypt.

In this sorrow we pray for the grace to receive undreamt of graces through Mary’s Sorrowful Immaculate Heart.

Now after they had left, an angel of the lord appeared to `Joseph in a dream and said, ‘get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until, until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ (Matthew 2: 13 – 15).

Mother Mary, as I meditate on the image of your sorrow help me to understand your heart-felt love for me. Show me how to know and love Jesus in the heartfelt Yes! of your loving heart. I lift up to you all refugees. May I see in those I meet something of the afflicted state you and Joseph were in with your newborn Son when you fled the threat of destruction and violence. Through your prayer may Jesus deliver us from lovelessness, betrayal and infidelity. Help me, Mother Mary, to walk ever more fully in the ways of compassion and love.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

THIRD SORROW

Jesus is lost in the Temple.

In this sorrow pray for the grace of a pure heart-felt love and desire to pray, pray, pray.

When his parents saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Child why have you treated us like this? Look your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them,’ Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.  (Luke 2: 48 – 51).

Mother Mary sometimes I too feel lost. As I meditate on this sorrow show me your son Jesus so that I may find Him deep within my heart. Hold my heart, Mother Mary, and let me rest with Jesus in the temple of my soul, throwing my spirit open to His transforming wisdom. Teach my heart to perceive Jesus’ love for his Father and His Father’s business as I seek the traces of God in my own life. From the bottom of my heart I pray for all parents who have suffered the loss of children, so many in our times, so much human trafficking, so much denial of human dignity. I sense you sharing in their sorrow, sorrowing Mother. May they discover through you the path to freedom and the love that seeks to pardon wicked betrayal.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

FOURTH SORROW

On the way to Calvary, people follow Jesus, and women beating their breasts and weeping for him.

As we reflect on the image of the sorrowing Mother Mary we pray that many will come to understand her suffering and grow in their desire to spread knowledge of it throughout the world.

A great number of people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. (Luke 23: 27)

Mother Mary let me join those who beat their breasts and wept for Jesus. Within your Sorrowful Immaculate Heart let me touch Jesus’ saving love for me. Teach me to rest within the healing heart-beat of His love. I pray for those who have had their futures stolen, their life work destroyed by violent and heartless people. I pray especially for those who have had loved ones die at the hands of others that they may find healing for their pain. Mother Mary in your sorrow pray that the Father may forgive us all for what we have done. May we recognize the gift of immeasurable love hidden in your Son’s agony as He struggles with the Cross to the Hill of the Skull.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

FIFTH SORROW

Mary at the foot of the Cross.

As we meditate on this sorrow we pray that through reflection on our Mother Mary’s Sorrowful Immaculate Heart, on her gentle motherly heart of flesh, hardened hearts may be warmed and healed.

Meanwhile, standing near 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 whom he loved standing beside her, he said, ‘Woman here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” (John 19: 25–27).

Mother Mary let me join you there near the Cross, beneath the feet of Jesus where I too may learn to love Him with you. Accept my heart, Mother Mary, and place it near the heart of Jesus as He suffers on the Cross. Let His suffering touch the place of sin in my life and bring me to the place of reconciliation. Hear my prayer especially for those who have been falsely accused and denounced before the world. Please pray that true justice be done for all. As Jesus dies, a victim of false and malicious accusations, may I too come to a new understanding of justice and the forgiving love He invites me to breathe forth in the world for love of Him. Awaken whatever is asleep within my soul, melt what is frozen, so that I may learn every day how to offer Him love for healing love.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

SIXTH SORROW

Mary receives the lifeless body of her Son.

As we meditate on Mary clasping the lifeless body of her Son to her broken heart we ask her to teach us how to find ways of authentic growth and change in our meditation, and through insightful reflection on life and death find the way to true peace of heart.

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh an aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. (John 19: 38 – 40).

Mother Mary watch over us always. Hold us close. As I contemplate you holding the body of Jesus, pray that I may hold firm to the way of love and keep the lamp of my soul brightly lit so that when my time comes to depart I may remember Jesus your Son in the tomb, soon to be the awesome Risen Lord. Mother Mary help me always to remember that by his own death Jesus has changed death; and what was a curse has now become a blessing and a hope. When my day comes may He lift me from my sleep of death to the bright promise of eternal life. As I await that day, Mary, pray that I may be delivered from all devilish delights and walk instead in the ways of God and holy wisdom. Help me not only to understand that God has made the wisdom of the world foolish, but that God’s weakness is stronger than the world’s strength.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

SEVENTH SORROW

Mary at the tomb of Jesus

In this sorrow the heart of a grieving mother confronts us as we contemplate the price of our salvation. We pray that we may truly understand the saving death of Jesus and what it means for humankind and all of creation. We pray for our brothers and sisters who have been driven away from the faith community by scandals and other negative experiences.

Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John19: 40 – 42).

Mother Mary, how you must have felt as Jesus was laid in the tomb. Help me to roll back the stone that blocks my own heart and help me to grieve for my coldness. Help me repent of the things that make my heart a dark and stinking sepulcher: my greed, my lewdness and lusts, my arrogance, my vindictiveness, my addictions, my collisions, my envy and all the things that diminish me, my relationships and the world in which I live. Help me to glimpse Jesus through the eyes of your heart. Let me be there with you attuned to the sad rhythms of your suffering and grief. As I repent let me love and grieve for Jesus with you as on the day of His saving death, that with you I may witness to His glory. Teach me to pray every day for the grace of deep repentance: Lord, have mercy! Teach me to understand the liberating gift of confession. Lord, draw me through your mother’s Sorrowful Immaculate Heart into your glorious wounded heart and bring me home from the places of slavery.

Hail Mary  (7 times)

Ave Maria (sung)

We believe that when Mary’s seven sorrows are prayed ever more closely in tune with her heartbeat of love for Jesus, human hearts will be transformed from ways of selfish dominance, greed and violence to ways of love and creative service.
The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Bible, copyright 1989 by the division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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