September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows, a title given to the Blessed Mother which remembers her sufferings, especially at the foot of the cross watching as her son died. She stayed near him through all of his anguish, offering whatever comfort she could and not shying away from the gruesome sight. This strong and loving mother offers us the same consolation in our greatest trials.
“No one was as consoling to Jesus Christ … with everything he suffered, as Mary. And so, there is the key to the greatness of humanity. And we all know how unjust the death of Christ was, and so that is why Jesus and God offers Mary, gives Mary to us, because he knows in humanity many things are unjust. And how do we handle them? We must conquer them with love and nobody loves like Mary loves. And so she comes in and says, yes I have been there—I know exactly what it is to suffer unjustly,” says Fr. Carl Pieber, the international director of the Miraculous Medal Association.
“That is where Our Lady of Consolation comes from. We realize that Mary, at the foot of the cross, seeing her son suffer and die, is consoling him and standing with him and still loving him. Not running from him like the Apostles, but saying, ‘I am with you; I know.’”
We often have a hard time understanding evil in the world, bad things happening to good people, because we expect that God should be just. “We think God is just, but God is also able to console with his love,” says Fr. Pieber.
He spoke of the recent shootings and tragedies in our country and how Our Lady of Sorrows and Consolations can accompany us in anguish. “What do they have to turn to? Well, they have to turn to Mary—she’s the only one that can really heal and show them how this love of God, through her, can lift them up, and say that God understands unjust murders and so he understands this and will meet them in paradise.”
We are never alone in our suffering. “When we’re so full of anger at what unjustly happened to us, we must remember that the God of Life suffered unjustly and does so every day by what we do.” It’s a fact that Fr. Pieber says we must remember or have someone else remind us in moments of indignation and bitterness. It’s certainly not an easy pill to swallow, but through this realization, Our Lord and his Blessed Mother can come into our life to bring consolation and peace.
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