Today is the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in September.
We are called to meditate on the Seven Dolors of Our Lady every day of our lives. While there are many good meditations on the sufferings of Our Lady, including those provided by the revelations of Anne Katherine Emmerich and the Venerable Mary of Agreda, the late Father Frederick Faber has given us much food for inspirational meditation in his The Foot of the Cross, published originally as The Dolors of Mary in 1857. Consider this brief excerpt from Father Faber's reflections:
"But let us make the world stand still, and see how it looks. If our common love for God, which is so poor, is irritated by the sight, what must Mary have suffered? For what is irritation to our weakness to her would be the most deep and transcending sorrow. God comes to His creation. It does not stir. It cannot. It lies in the hollow beneath Him, and has no escape. He comes in the beauty of a mercy, which is almost incredible, because it is so beautiful. But seemingly it does not attract the world. He draws nigh. Creation must do something now. It freezes itself up before His eye. He may have other worlds, more fertile, more accessible to Him, than this. In the spiritual tropics, where the angels dwell, He may perhaps be welcome. But not here. This is the North Pole of His universe. He shed His life's blood upon it, and it would not thaw. It is unmanageable, unnavigable, uninhabitable for Him. He can do nothing at all with it, but let His sun make resplendent colored lights in the icebergs, or bid the moon shine with a wanner loveliness than elsewhere, or fill the long-night sky with the streamers of the Aurora, which even the Esquimaux, burrowing in his hut, will not go out to see. The only difference is that the material pole understands its business. which is to make ice in all imaginable shapes; whereas we men are so used to our own coldness, that we do not know how cold we are, and imagine ourselves to be the temperate zone of God's creation." Our sins helped to thrust those Seven Swords of Sorrow through and through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart at various points during her life, including during her Divine Son's Passion and Death. We must resolve never to grieve her Immaculate Heart again as consider our joy and our privilege to live penitentially as the consecrated slaves to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the same Immaculate Heart. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, the Dolors of Mary.)
We can help to make reparation for our sins that have grieved the Immaculate Heart of Mary if we pray more and more Rosaries each day, if we help to propagate devotion to her Seven Dolors. Indeed, Our Lady promises us the following graces if we promote devotion to her Seven Dolors:
1) I will grant peace to their families
2) They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
4) I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
7. I have obtained (This Grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
As a terrible sinner, I am counting on my own promoting of devotion to the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help me just a little bit at the moment of my Particular Judgment.
What about you?
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Finally, please remember the soul of the late Father John Joseph Sullivan, who was my seminary professor at Holy Apostles Seminary in the 1983-1984 academic year, on this day, which would have been his one hundred first birthday had he not died in May of 2000.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all of the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
A blessed Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary to you all.
Our Lady of Dolors, pray for us.
Saint Nicomedes, pray for us.