Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome to September!

In the liturgical year each month is assigned a special devotion. Due to her feast on September 15, the month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. There are seven sorrows of Our Lady, all of which are bound up in her supreme sorrow at the foot of the cross. The seven sorrows are as follows:

1) the prophecy of Simeon - "and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, 'Behold this Child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

2) the flight into Egypt - "When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.' Joseph rose and took the Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt."

3) having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem - "After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Thinking that He was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple"

4) meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary

5) standing at the foot of the cross - "Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala."

6) Jesus being taken from the cross - "After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took His body."

7) the burial of Christ - "They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in the place where He had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by."
Our Lady is described as having a "martyrdom of the heart" at the foot of the cross. Pope Pius XII states that "She it was who, immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members."

Also, important as we begin September, are the Holy Father's prayer intentions for the month. First, the Holy Father asks that we pray "that in less developed parts of the world the proclamation of the Word of God may renew people's hearts, encouraging them to work actively toward authentic social progress." Secondly, the Holy Father prays "that by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts which continue to bloody our world."

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