Saturday, September 15, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we pray with Our Mother of Sorrows.
Mary’s greatest sorrows came, not from circumstances she bore personally, but from her anguish at the sufferings of Jesus. Like so many mothers, fathers, spouses, children and friends, Mary suffered because she loved.
It is so hard to watch someone we love endure pain. We feel helpless, lost and perhaps angry. We may be tempted to turn away from our beloved’s pain because it empties us as well as them.
This is the beauty and power of Mary’s love: it did not turn. Mary’s devotion accompanied Jesus – even through crucifixion and death – for the sake of our salvation.
Today’s liturgy offers us the powerful sequence “Stabat Mater”.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of His mother, Mary (Lk 2:35). The hymn originated in the 13th century during the peak of Franciscan devotion to the crucified Jesus and has been attributed to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), St. Bonaventure, or more commonly, Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306), who is considered by most to be the real author.
The hymn is often associated with the Stations of the Cross. In 1727 it was prescribed as a Sequence for the Mass of the Seven Sorrows of Mary (September 15) where it is still used today. (preces-latinae.org)
Music: Stabat Mater Dolorosa – Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
This is a glorious rendition. If you have time, you might listen to it on a rainy afternoon or evening as you pray.