Cause of Our Joy

September 7, 2021 | Miles Christi

Mater Dolorosa, Cause of Our Joy

The devotion that we have in Miles Christi to the Blessed Virgin Mary centers above all on this most beautiful invocation: Mater Dolorosa, causa nostræ laetitiæ, Mother of Sorrows, Cause of Our Joy –whose feast we celebrate every September 15. “Standing by the cross of Jesus was his mother…” (Jn 19:25), the Gospel tells us. “Standing,” meaning that she was firm and unwavering. Her Son was dying, and she was standing close to the cross, offering herself bravely in sacrifice, assisting in the salvation of the human race as the Co-Redemptrix, participating in a full and intimate way in the Passion of Jesus Christ. She was a martyr in her heart. Thus, the Mater Dolorosa gave us a sublime example of firmness, constancy, submission, and heroic fortitude.

What can be said of her sorrows? If, at the death of Christ, the earth trembled and the veil of the temple was torn in two, if the stones split open, and the very heavens were shrouded in mourning, what would the delicate heart of the Virgin not have felt before such a terrible spectacle? To what can I liken you? –Scripture says– For great as the sea is your suffering (Lam 2:13). One thing we know: she suffered according to the measure in which she loved Jesus: the measure of her suffering was the measure of her love. Thus, just as we will never be able to imagine the greatness of the love of the Blessed Virgin for her Son, so too we will never be able to grasp the immense sorrow which tormented her most sweet heart. The prophecy of the saintly old man was fulfilled: A sword shall pierce your heart (Lk 2:35).

Man’s life on earth is a continual battle and cross (cf. Job 7:1). Let us draw near, then, to the suffering heart of the Mater Dolorosa, and she will teach us the science of perfect conformity with the Will of God in our tribulations; she will introduce us to the mystery of the Cross of the Lord, the only true comfort and joy of our soul.