When I was burdened with the cross of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, my mother, who loved me dearly, was heartbroken. She saw that I was mocked by bullies, lived in fear, and how much I wished death upon myself. She did anything she could possibly do to help by taking me to therapy, finding help in a psychiatric ward, and consoling me constantly. She wished so badly that she could help take this away by somehow taking the pain in my place.
Parents can agree that they would rather suffer than watching their child suffer while they are left helpless. There is a specific parent I think of when I say this: Mary, Mother of Jesus. She is a mother who saw her son be hated, mocked, beaten, whipped in agony, and even killed before her very eyes. The child that came out of her womb, that she taught, laughed with, cried with, played with, and put to bed was now killed before her very eyes.
“You to a sword shall pierce” is what Simeon had prophesied to Mary at the presentation of Jesus in the temple. Knowing this we can safely say that the spear that stabbed the heart of Jesus on the cross might as well also stabbed Our Blessed Mother.
I felt called to share this because I want to remind everyone how deeply Our Blessed Mother meditates on the sufferings of Jesus to console us. We often forget that she felt the pain of losing an innocent child who did nothing wrong. What the crowds saw on the day of Our Lord’s death was a naked, Jewish Revolutionary. What Our Lady saw on that day was her small innocent baby, fresh from her womb, being yanked from her, and nailed on that cross as He screamed in pain.
Look at the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and you will see where a physical spear stabbed his heart. When we look at the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a spiritual spear has piereced her heart.
This “spiritual spear” happens when someone we love dearly suffers or dies, we desire to suffer instead of your loved one. In a way, it can be worse than the “physical spear,” and Mary endured this spear so that she can console us when we have to watch the ones we love suddenly be taken away or suffer great pain. She is the strength to help us endure the pains of witnessing your loved one hurt.
For example, when a parent sees their child suffer, fall gravely ill, or die suddenly (in or out of the womb), the pain is unimaginable. I saw this pain form tears in my mother’s eyes as she saw how much I suffered from all the burdens I went through. It is especially in these moments that Our Lady desires deeply to comfort the sorrow given to the parent. As the grieving parent cries deeply saddened by the sufferings of their child, Our Mother cries with them saying, “I know,” as she wraps the parent in her loving mantle to console their shattered spirit and broken heart.
This Spiritual spear affects us all when we see loved ones hurt. It is in this moment we must trust our hearts to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, where she has the scar of the sword that pierced her heart that day on Calvary. In the same way she got to see Son rise from the dead, so too will we see our loved ones rise from the dead in the Kingdom of God in Heaven.
However, our Blessed Mother is more than just a shoulder to cry on. She plays many roles during our journey of life.
In the same way she interceded for the Wedding at Cana by simply stating to Jesus, “There is no wine.” So shall she also go to our Lord and present our sorrows and say, “They need healing,” and Our Lord cannot deny when He sees tears in His mother’s eyes.
Our Blessed Mother has truly been graced by God through also experiencing the passion on Calvary. She knows deeply what sorrow is. Not only can she comfort us when we see our loved ones suffer, but she is also be a great intercessor for the loved one’s soul. Have faith in Jesus through Mary, for both their hearts have experienced true pain and sorrow to be there for all of us. It is because of this, that we can’t claim to God, “You don’t know what it feels like.”