Our Lady of Sorrows

This is a day of solemn remembrance: Mary watched her Son die on the cross.

I confess that I haven’t had to witness death in person; I’ve led a sheltered life. I can’t imagine what it’s like to see your child’s death, someone you’ve dedicated your entire life to.

The image above is Pietà, sculpted by Michelangelo and housed at St Peter’s in the Vatican. I saw it in person about 47 years ago, and it still strikes me to my core today.

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The Birth of Mary

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Today we celebrate Mary’s birth, a crucial step in our salvation story. In the Catholic tradition, Mary is honored as the sinless tabernacle for our Lord.

This purity was reinforced for us when our Lady identified herself in Lourdes saying “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

If that’s true, then her parents Anne and Joachim played a crucial role in her upbringing.

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Novena for Mom

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My mother died a week ago, and Thursday was the anniversary of my father’s death.

I’ve never prayed a Novena before, but I thought this might be the appropriate time. On the day she went into Hospice, I changed the intention of my daily Rosary to be for a peaceful death and merciful meeting with God on the other side.

Thursday I added the intention for her wonderful reunion with my father.

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Rosary to End Racism

Why do we pray the Rosary? Is there something we’re trying to accomplish?

In this case, we have a fabulous chance to focus our energy and prayers on one of the greatest sins our society is dealing with right now: racism.

I’m not talking about the sins of particular individuals. Certainly there are many, but by looking at it that way it’s easy to absolve ourselves of personal responsibility.

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Forgive us our sins

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Ever notice how many of the Rosary prayers are plural, rather than singular?

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name….

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

I have to confess that I’ve always thought of this as me talking about myself, along with others who are also talking about themselves. But there may be a different way.

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Come, Holy Spirit!

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Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

John 20:21-23

Today we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. He said He would send His Spirit, and indeed he did. The promise was fulfilled!

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