|The Entombment by Peter Paul Rubens circa 1612|
Many Catholic moms experience the pain that comes from loved ones leaving their faith and God behind. Many of us live in guilt and shame. Many of live in fear for our loved ones. May this article be a source of comfort for you!
the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, my Marian Mantle Prayer Group and I were praying
the Rosary of her Seven Sorrows. During
the sixth mystery of sorrow, while contemplating Mary holding Jesus in her arms
at the foot of the cross, I pictured all of us throughout the world who pray so
faithfully, year after year, for loved ones who no longer practice the Catholic
I saw that each one of us is spiritually holding our loved ones in love
and prayer at the foot of the cross just as Mary held Jesus. I recognized that even though our loved ones may appear dead spiritually and that evil seems to be triumphing, that is not the Truth! Although Jesus did die, that was not the end of the story — and neither is it the end for our loved ones. Just
as we know that Jesus is resurrected, so we also know that in the power of His
Resurrection, God has conquered sin and death and evil –and is able to bring the dead back to life and make all things new! (cf.
Rev 21:5 and 2 Cor 5: 17)
And then, I had this inner sight, this understanding – this
beautiful encouragement – that flooded my soul with joy and comfort…
I saw, not with my eyes, but in my soul … I understood …
that our mother, Mary is holding each of us at the foot of the Cross as well.
She holds us as she held her Son. As our mother, she holds us.
She holds all of us who carry a cross,
exhausted and pierced with the blows of Satan’s attacks…
And… as Mary holds us –
she holds us as we are holding our loved ones!
All of us are in Christ!
We are all one in Jesus! Therefore, in Jesus, Mary holds each of us in
As she held Jesus at the foot
of the Cross – she, too, holds us closely in our sorrow. But in a sorrow that is filled with hope,
seeking to comfort us by kissing our wounds and washing them with her
tears. To the innermost depth of her
soul, she offers her prayers for God’s will to be done in us and in our loved ones
lives – never accepting that we nor our loved ones are truly dead.
Faithfully and with steadfast hope, she holds us, prays with us and awaits our
I understood that just as she holds Jesus, and holds us in
Him, she holds each of our prodigals –our loved ones –some of whom we have
prayed for for many, many years — safely in her arms.
I can’t begin to describe how consoling it is
to envision Mary holding my loved ones and myself so tenderly in her arms.
She holds us with truly human arms, maternal
arms, arms cradling us with limitless faith, hope and love. I can envision her looking on us with eyes
filled only with infinite love and sorrow for the sins that put us at the foot
of the cross – caressing us and washing us clean with her tears. I envision her fiercely protecting us with
her boundless faith from Satan’s attacks, which seek to lead us to despair.
While Jesus was dying on the cross, he told Mary, “Behold
your son” (Jn 19:26). In that command, He gave each of us to Mary as her sons
God had enabled and equipped Mary. He had filled her with Grace not only to
bring Christ into the world and remain faithful to Him to the last, but also in
order for her to love each of us as her own children! We are her children and she loves us as she loves her beloved Lord and God –her Son — Jesus. That is really unimaginable – it is something
we can only ponder – that Mary can and does love us –we who crucify her Son daily
with our sins —as much as she loves
In the economy of Divine Love, when Jesus became man – He
drew up all humanity into Himself – he took on our human nature and gave us His
Divine Nature in exchange — making us partakers in His Divinity as St. Peter
writes (2 Pet 1:4). When he died on the
cross – he continued to draw and elevate humanity into Himself, bearing the
weight, burden and horror of our sin that keeps us from union with Him – thereby,
freeing us from the wages of sin and death.
We are in Him. We are
in Him through His Incarnation, through His Death and Resurrection. We are in Him through the Sacrament of
Baptism, which makes us sons and daughters of God who are given an inheritance
of Eternal Glory – and in which the original stain of sin is washed away from
us through the Blood of the Lamb.
Jesus is God and is an Eternal Being, and thus IS beyond any limits of space and time – all time is meaningless to Him — it all is an Eternal Now.
So we can say, in a certain sense, Jesus is forever united with Mary, in whose womb He was formed as man, taking her flesh as his own.
Thus, in Jesus, all of us are in Mary. We are in Mary and thus, we partake in her endless faith
and boundless love of the Blessed Trinity.
Her arms continually encircle us, and if we allow them to hold us
closely to herself, we are held aloft in her faith and trust in God’s
beautiful, though mysterious will. Being
held in her arms is like being held in the Boundless Love of God – for it is only
through Him, with Him and In Him that Mary lives; and her love and care for us
are but a maternal reflection of the Heart of God — the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit and their infinite love for us and our children. She lives in God and God lives in her, and we
are called into this union: “I pray that they will all be one,
just as you and I are one–as you
are in me, Father, and I am in you”
(Jn 17:21). If we cling to them, we will
remain united to them and will be one with them.
So as we pass through the trials of this life, Mary will
continue to hold us – offering up a constant vigil of prayer for us and our
loved ones – continually loving and praying for us during our deepest agonies,
at the foot of the cross, and outside the tomb awaiting our resurrection. She never gives up on us or ceases to pray for
us until we are brought unto the Eternal Life and home of our choosing (whether
it be with God or not – for He creates us with the freedom to choose). Up until we make that final choice, all is
filled with hope.
Sometimes truths that we hold dear come together in our
minds in a new and deeper way – in an understanding that floods our souls with
grace, mercy and peace – I pray that these truths of our salvation bring you as
much encouragement and consolation as they have brought to me. May we be joyful and confident, knowing that
we are in God’s arms – enfolded in the arms of His Blessed Mother, whom He gave
to us as our own. Though it appears to the world that all is lost, we hold onto
the Hope and the Power of our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, and His
For more information on the Seven Sorrows of Mary and on the
promises given to those who meditate on them see: https://priestlyconsecration.com/2014/09/our-lady-of-sorrows-feast-day-and.html