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Follow Christ with Mary to the Foot of the Cross

As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

He went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51-52).

Liturgical readings of the season from the votive Mass of the Lenten season: ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross I’

The special collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary has two liturgies listed under the theme “the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross.” This meditation includes only the first selection. We pray in the opening prayer:

Lord our God,
in your mysterious wisdom
you fill out the Passion of Christ
through the suffering that his members endure
in the many trials of this life.
As you chose to have the mournful mother
stand by your Son in his agony on the cross,
grant that we too may bring love and comfort
to our brothers and sisters in distress.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala (John 19:25).

Mary was prepared for this moment through her lifelong attitude of listening, pondering faith. She heard the Word of God and kept it. This reflective pondering was prayer in its deepest sense. The Church has honored Mary’s pondering and her intimate connection to the sufferings of Christ.

She is the strong woman who stood. The Gospel explicitly uses the word “to stand.” Even though her heart was broken, she remained open, reflective, listening for the message of God in the moment of profound sorrow.

The preface of the Marian Mass prays to our God:

In your loving providence
you decreed that Mary, the mother of your Son,
should stand faithfully beside his cross
and so fulfill in her person
the prophecies of old
and enrich the world
with her own witness of living faith.

– Excerpted from Lenten Weekly Meditations by Sr. M. Jean Frisk, I.S.S.M. included on the All About Mary website.

Image: Detail of “At the Cross Her Station Keeping” by Roxolana Luchakowski Armstrong. From the Marian Library Art and Artifacts Collection.

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