Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

Dearest Mother, before you could become the Consoler of the Afflicted, you first had to know true sorrow. I pause with you now, and meditate on that great suffering in your life, the death and burial of your most beloved Son.

Oh, how humble I am, dear Mary, when I see before me your Son in the tomb. He gave His life so we may know freedom from sin. Remind me always that any suffering in my life is passing, just as the suffering you experienced passed in the joy of the Resurrection.

Holy Mary, Mother of Sorrows, I mourn with you, knowing the certain joy of your Son and His gift of everlasting life. Through this act of His, you have become our Mother of Consolation. Amen.

Hat tip to the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Offering up Suffering

So many people are suffering right now. There are so many marriages in trouble. So many people are looking for work. So many are caring for aging parents or disabled children.

Let's unite all our sufferings to those of Christ on the Cross, for the renewed Faith of our loved ones.

Christianity is alone among religions to recognize the redemptive nature of suffering. Suffering comes to us no matter our station in life. Christ has taken our suffering on himself on the cross.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Pre-Christmas Fast

The Orthodox Church encourages people to fast for the 40 days prior to Christmas. They abstain from meat, cheese, oil and wine from November 14 until Christmas. Lisa DeLuca says that this pre-Christmas fast "is a spiritual practice that helps people grieve their losses, endure their sadness, feed their souls, and, ultimately, experience joy on Christmas day."

From a Catholic perspective, we can use this time of depriving ourselves to offer up our inconveniences for the safe return of our loved ones to the faith.

Especially if Christmas is a sad time for you, try turning to God and away from worldly over indulgence and continue to pray for your loved ones.

The manger, in spite of being filled with animal food, is empty for us until we fill it with Jesus.

Reasons to Come Home