Beads of Joy 09-15-10
Standing By The Cross
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Today's reflection is all about suffering, how we handle it, and how strong we really are in the face of our deepest pain. I will say that my heart will be right in here as I write. I know what it is to feel immense pain, physically, and emotionally, in a relationship, in love, in parenting, and so much more. Hey I am forty-five years old (very young, I know, lol). So I've been there, I pray that this reflection today maybe sparks a bit of Joy and happiness inside your heart. Even though my life has had some incredible phenomenal ups, we have also had way more than our share our downs. Today's gospel is John 19:25-27 (Women at The Foot of The Cross). We must also note that John, the beloved disciple was also there. All the other disciples were scared for their lives, so they all fled from the cross. This is one of the reasons why I believe in many cases and situations, women are stronger then men in some things. These women were not going anywhere, nor did any tell them to leave. The love of a mother, a woman consoling the suffering is immense. She is solid in that nothing will remove her from being there to comfort and love the one suffering. Yes men and women pass out at the sight of blood, but it always seems like men do more, so they leave. And so the women are left there to clean up the wounds. My love and respect for women is immeasurable. Many of you know that. I love and respect all women like I do our Lady.
Do we allow the suffering and sorrow of our Lord on the cross, to weigh us down or lift us up? Yes, there is much sorrow seeing the one we love "Jesus" suffer horribly on that cross. But there is also much Joy in that by Him doing this; the death and the sorrow that surrounds it, will be no more. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, death is no longer an end; rather death is now a new beginning for all of us. I believe our dear precious most Blessed Mother suffered the most watching and looking upon her Son. In an excerpt from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux It speaks of "the martyrdom of the Virgin at the foot of the cross, her heart is pierced by a sword as Simeon predicted as her Son's body is pierced by nails and spear." Her love for her Son was tremendous, as any mother's would be. I am a dad, and I don't even ever want to have to think of how the pain must have been from my stand-point to a child. But embracing sorrow and pain and suffering is by no means easy. I have so been there and still am there from time to time. I know what it feels like, but I also know how to keep myself ahead of the curve as I go through it, knowing that in the end, all that is going matter is Jesus, and how much we love Him. Hope that makes sense.
Do the sorrows of our own sufferings weigh us down to the point of being all caught up in ourselves? or Do the sorrows of our own suffering give us the strength to lift us up? There is no formula, no simple, easy way out of sorrow. Except that we can fully look upon Jesus as we suffer. And honestly that is the key to getting through and managing sorrow and suffering. By taking our eyes off ourselves, and fully focusing on Him; He who suffered a horrible humiliating death on a cross, I think the reality of it all starts to make sense to us. No matter how bad we have it, Jesus suffered far more than we probably ever will. I recommend that you take the time to watch "The Passion of the Christ" every single day for as long as you possibly can. I have, for several months in a row on my computer. After seeing it so many times over and over and over, it will truly change your life. i will be praying for all of you, as I always do.
Also note that today is the "Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary". Many celebrate today by praying the Franciscan Crown Rosary.
The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion
6. The Taking Down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
7. Jesus laid in the Tomb
Symbols: heart pierced with a sword; heart pierced by seven swords; winged heart pierced with a sword; flowers: red rose, iris (meaning: "sword-lily"), cyclamen.
Maria at San Nicolas, gave us this message on her seven sorrows today.:
Sept. 15, 1989 – (Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows)
"My daughter, at the present time, these are my Sorrows:
1. The rejection to my Son.
3. Lack of charity,
4. The unborn
5. The lack of understanding among families
6. The extreme selfishness days of many children in the world,
7. Those hearts that still refuse my Motherly love.
And throughout your day, please pray, "Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO