Post by Hildegard on Sept 6, 2019 17:43:46 GMT
September, the month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows J.M.J.
The Mother of Mercy
Devotion to the sorrows of Mary should be practiced especially by souls who wish to rid themselves of sinful habits. This devotion nourishes the spirit of compunction, affords great consolation, strengthens confidence in God's mercy, draws down the special protection of the Blessed Mother in the hour of temptation, and preserves the converted sinner from relapsing into sin.
The Mother of God once said to her faithful servant St. Bridget: "No matter how numerous a person's sins may be, if he turns to me with a sincere purpose of amendment I am prepared forthwith to receive him graciously, for I do not regard the number of sins he has committed, but look only upon the dispositions with which he comes to me; for I feel no aversion in healing his wounds, because I am called and am in truth the Mother of Mercy."
"Poor abandoned sinners," exclaims St. Alphonsus Liguori, "do not despair! Raise your eyes to Mary and be comforted, trusting in the clemency of this good Mother. For she will rescue you from the shipwreck you have suffered and conduct you to the haven of salvation."
The Mother of Sorrows likewise lends her gracious assistance in bringing back to the True Fold those who, unhappily, have been separated from the household of the Faith.
The great apostleship of prayer which was organized in England for the conversion of that country invoked Mary as the Mother of Sorrows. The fruits of that society were formerly so great that annually ten thousand or more Protestants returned to the True Fold. Anyone who will but try this devotion will experience that the Blessed Virgin will not leave a single Hail Mary unrewarded.
Those who implore her aid in virtue of her sufferings may confidently expect her assistance. It seems that this devotion is destined by Heaven to avert God's punishment from sinful mankind, or at least to mitigate it.
The Consoler of the Suffering Souls
Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross, who died in the reputation of sanctity in 1897, was often favored with apparitions of the souls in Purgatory. One of these souls told the servant of God that she (the soul) owed her salvation solely to her devotion to the sorrows of Mary. Her life had been so wicked that without a special grace from God she could not possibly have been saved, but Mary leaves nothing unrewarded that is done in her honor.
During life this person had felt a tender compassion for the Mother of Sorrows, and whenever she beheld an image representing the Dolorous Mother, she prayed the Hail Mary seven times in her honor. She admitted, however, that often she had practiced this devotion more from custom than from interior devotion; for her pious mother had implanted it so deeply in her heart that, despite her wayward life, she had always remained faithful to it. As a reward for this slight veneration, the Mother of God showed special maternal solicitude for her at the hour of death, recalling to her mind the image of her Seven Sorrows in so vivid a manner that in her last moments the penitent was seized with most profound contrition for her sinful life. For this reason she obtained the remission of all her sins.
According to the information imparted by this soul, the sorrow she felt for her sins, through the intercession of the Mother of Sorrows, was so great that it expiated not only her sins but also a great part of the temporal punishment due to them. In addition to this incomparably great grace, the soul, while in Purgatory, was consoled by frequent visits of the Mother of God, each of which mitigated her sufferings. Her torments ceased entirely during the time the Blessed Virgin was personally present.
Thousands and thousands of souls, she asserted, who had not committed one twentieth as much evil as she, were eternally lost. "Ah," she exclaimed, "how lively are my sentiments of gratitude when I consider what our dear Heavenly Mother did for me in the last moments of my life! Had it not been for Mary, I too should have shared the fate of the reprobates. For all eternity shall my tongue proclaim the love, the goodness, the solicitude of this sweet Virgin; unceasingly shall my voice glorify her with canticles of praise and thanksgiving."
Dominica Clara of the Holy Cross writes further that many who are especially devoted to the Sorrowful Mother are scarcely detained in Purgatory at all, and are deprived only for a short time of the vision of God.
Four Special Favors
The graces which Our Lord promises to those who are devoted to the sorrows of His Blessed Mother are very great. St. Alphonsus, in his discourse on the dolors of Mary,
states: It was revealed to St. Elizabeth [of Hungary] that some years after the Blessed Virgin was assumed into Heaven, St. John, the beloved disciple, was seized with an ardent desire to see her again. This favor was granted him. His dear Mother appeared to him in company with our Divine Lord. Then St. John heard Mary asking of her Son some special graces for those who were devoted to her dolors. Our Lord promise the four following graces:
1. Those who invoke the Heavenly Mother through her sorrows will obtain true sorrow for their sins before death.
2. Our Saviour will protect them in their tribulations, especially at the hour of death.
3. He will impress upon them the memory of His Passion, and will reward them for it in Heaven.
4. He will commit such devout servants to the hands of Mary, that she may dispose of them according to her pleasure, and obtain for them all the graces she desires.
Besides these great graces, Father Faber enumerates others which are obtained through devotion to Mary's sorrows:
This devotion has a remarkable connection with great interior holiness.
It reveals the emptiness of worldly joys. Worldliness finds no soul harder to attack than one entrenched in the sorrows of our Blessed Lady. The world can graft itself upon nothing in this devotion.
It gives us a permanent share in the sorrow for sin which Jesus and Mary felt.
It keeps our thoughts close to Jesus Christ, and to Him Crucified.
It communicates to our souls the spirit of the Cross and gives us strength to endure our own sufferings with resignation to the holy Will of God.
This devotion is wholly covered with the Precious Blood of Jesus and leads us directly into the depths of the Heart of our Saviour.
Anyone who during his lifetime has cherished compassion for this afflicted Mother may consider this as a most assured sign of predestination.
The above is taken from Chapter 2 of the booklet "Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother"
published by TAN Books (www.tanbooks.com).
published by TAN Books (www.tanbooks.com).