Thursday, September 1, 2005

September: Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

When you think about the tragedy of 9/11 that we will commemorate a week from this Sunday and the horrific images coming from the Gulf Coast today it is comforting to think that in Catholic devotion and belief God is not far off but suffers with us. Paul was told by Jesus on the road to Damascus "Why are you persecuting me?" such was the risen Lord's association with those he left behind.

So too in Catholic devotion Our Lady's Assumption has not removed her from our sorrow and this image of a statue that survived Katrina's destruction with a few fingers missing reminds me of that...

"To you do we cry, to you do we send up our sighs, mournings and weepings in this vale of tears, turn then most gracious advocate and show unto us the fruit of your womb--Jesus!"


  1. "God suffers with us."

    Yes, that takes some of the sting out of the mystery of suffering, doesn't it?

    I suppose for those who don't believe (e.g., in Christ's suffering humanity and divinity), this sounds absurd.

    But I love it. Thanks for your thoughts, Michael.

  2. Where is that photo from? It gave me chills.


  3. When we suffer, it’s a great opportunity to embrace and identify with the first Beatitude. The reason that the poor in spirit are blessed is that, in their weakness, suffering, powerlessness and seeming hopelessness, our loving Lord and Father desires that they will turn more fervently to him, that they will more faithfully live as his children, totally dependent on him, reforming their lives where necessary and realigning their priorities accordingly, all out of love for Him. Then, the kingdom of heaven will truly be theirs.

    However, is that what happened in our nation after 9/11? It seems to me that, instead of acting as I described above, we have decided to take control, to take matters into our own hands. We have denied or paid relatively little attention to our own need for moral reform as a nation. Instead, we have asserted that we can solve the problem, the cause of the suffering (terrorism), on our own, by throwing enough bodies and money at it.

    That’s just PRIDE. Even extreme PRIDE. Not the humility which must be characteristic of the poor in spirit. We haven’t taken the words of Jesus, “apart from me you can do nothing” seriously. And even though suffering will always be a part of humanity, we will have missed this major opportunity to be blessed, to become more the children our Father wants us to be.

  4. Yes, where is that photo from? It looks like there's some snow on the base.

  5. "Katrina's wake : A statue of the Virgin Mary sits on the porch of home destroyed by hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi. (AFP/Robert Sullivan)"

  6. Katrina's wake : A statue of the Virgin Mary sits on the porch of home destroyed by hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi. (AFP/Robert Sullivan)


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