The Cause of Mary's Dolors
on Calvary and the
What was the profound cause of Mary's sorrows on Calvary? Every Christian soul for whom practice has made the Stations of the Cross familiar will answer: the cause of Mary's sorrows, as of those of Jesus, was sin. Happy the souls for whom that answer is a vital truth, who experience true sorrow at the thought of their own sins ---- a sorrow that only grace can produce in them.
We Understand but little of the sorrows of Mary , for little grieves us except what wounds our bodies, our self-love, our vanity, or our pride. We suffer too from men's ingratitude, from the afflictions of our family or our native land. But sin grieves us but little. We have but little sorrow for our faults considered as offenses against God. In theory, we admit that sin is the greatest of evils since it affects the soul itself and its faculties, and since it is the cause of the disorders which we deplore in society; it is only too evidently the cause of the enmity between classes and nations. But in spite of that we do not experience any great sorrow for the faults whereby we contribute more or less ourselves to the general disorder. Our superficiality and our inconstancy prevent us from seeing what an evil sin is; precisely because it strikes so deep it cannot be known by those who look only at the surface. In its manner of ravaging souls and society, sin is like one of those diseases which affect vital but hidden organs, and which the sufferer is ignorant of even while they near a crisis.
To experience salutary grief, grief for sin, it is necessary truly to love God Whom sin offends and sinners whom it destroys. The Saints suffered from sin in the degree in which they loved God and souls. St. Catherine of Siena recognized souls in the state of mortal sin by the insupportable odor which they exhaled. But to know just how far grief for sin can go, one must turn to the heart of Mary. Her grief sprang from an Unequaled love for God, for Jesus crucified, and for souls ---- a love which surpassed that of the greatest saints, and even of all the Saints united, a love which had never ceased to grow, a love which had never been restrained by the slightest fault or imperfection. If such was Mary's love, what must her grief have been! Unlike us who are so superficial, she saw with piercing clarity what it was that caused the loss of so many souls: the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, the pride of life. All sins combined to add to her grief; all revolts against God, all outbursts of sacrilegious rage, such as that which reached its paroxysm in the cry 'Crucify Him' and in utter hatred of Him Who is the Light Divine and the Author of Salvation.
Mary's grief was deep as was her love, both natural and supernatural, of her Son. She loved Him with a virginal love, most pure and tender; loved Him as her only Son, miraculously conceived, and as her God.
To understand Mary's dolors, one would need to have received, as did the stigmatics, the impression of the wounds of the Savior; one would need to have relived with the mystics His physical and moral sufferings, and to have shared with Him the hours of His Passion and Death. We shall try once more to speak of this matter when considering Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix, and the reparation which she offered with, and by, and in her Son.
Mary's love in her dolors was meritorious for us and for her also. By her sufferings she grew in charity as well as in faith, and hope, and religion; she grew in fact in all the virtues ---- those of humility, and meekness, and supernatural courage suggesting themselves especially to the mind. Her virtue in suffering was heroic in the highest degree. Thereby she became Queen of Martyrs.
On the hill of Calvary, grace
and charity overflowed from the Heart of Jesus to the heart of His
He it was Who sustained her, just as it was she who sustained St. John.
Jesus offered up her martyrdom as well as His own, and she offered
with her Son, Who was more dear to her than her own life. If the least
of the acts of Nazareth increased Mary's charity, what must have been
effect of her participation in the Cross of Jesus!