Take a long look at the face of your Mother.
Here is a woman who gave her all, everything that was deep within her, in support of her beloved Son. Scripture tells us that she stood at the foot of the cross during Christ’s crucifixion. Yes, she stood, never wavering from her place beside her Son as the co-redemptrix of the world.
But when His three hours of suffering were through and He succumbed to death, she too, succumbed. Our pillar of strength collapsed in a swoon, a full faint of exhaustion after the terror of His torture was complete and His lifeless body was removed from the cross. Somehow she found the strength to stand with him during His suffering; the sword that pierced and penetrated His side deeply lanced her own heart as well, and now, after his death, her spirit also died with him; she could take no more.
Aren’t we so very often like the Blessed Mother, swooning under the pressure of too much worry, too much heartache, too much pain to bear? We wait for the loving hands of a St. John to lift us up, support us, and revive our fallen spirits so that we can carry on once again.
We’ve only to follow the example of Holy Mary who forever patterns strength and love so beautifully. We swoon, we fall, we struggle, but with the hope of the resurrection in our hearts and the help of a steady friend in our lives, we, too, can learn to stand strong through our trials and difficulties.
“Hail Mary, full of Grace…our dear and Holy Mary … pray for us, for we are miserable sinners and we swoon under the weight of our problems and our sin. Pray for us now, when we are most in need of your example of grace and strength…as well as at the hour of our death. Amen.”
(Reflection based upon Rogier van der Weyden’s Descent From the Cross)
**We had to redraw for the neckalce. Please check this post to see the winner.