September is the month in the Catholic Church that is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is amazing that this devotion, focused on Our Lady’s Sorrows can truly help uplift us and reduce the anxiety or burdens we carry. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish change into hope, and your grief into love.”
Sure enough, as we journey with Mary in her pain, we come to realize three beautiful lessons:
- Mary understands our pain so completely and offers compassion and graces to us that will truly heal our broken hearts.
- The sufferings we endure can be used for good; can be offered up in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and can help us grow in compassionate love for all Mary endured.
- Uniting our sorrows to the sorrows of Mary not only prevents a lukewarm heart, and sets a fire of love ablaze in us, but also makes us more joyful as we grow accustomed to turning sorrow into meaning through prayer.
The Seven Sorrows devotion involves praying seven Hail Mary’s a day, each one while meditating on one of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows, which are:
- The prophecy of Simeon.
- The flight into Egypt.
- The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple.
- The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
- The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.
- The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross and preparation for burial.
- The burial of Jesus.
Here’s an online prayer companion for the Seven Sorrows Devotion, featuring beautiful art and reflections for the required seven Hail Mary’s and corresponding reflections.
And the Seven Sorrows Rosary involves dwelling upon each of the seven sorrows as you would one of the mysteries of the Rosary, with seven Hail Mary’s instead of a decade. Begin each sorrow with an Our Father. As you contemplate the sorrows, imagine walking with Mary and offering her your loving presence and support, your willingness to stay with her as she watches her beloved Son’s suffering. Here’s a moving prayer companion for the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary, complete with meditations, art and music, also on YouTube.
Check out this book for more specific ways to contemplate, pray and dwell more deeply with the seven sorrows of Mary:
Finally, what could give greater joy to our Heavenly Mother’s Sorrowful Heart than consecrating ourselves to her Son’s Sacred Heart? Here is a link to a free 33-day consecration to the Sacred Heart that includes prayers and reflections delivered daily to your inbox – all leading to personal consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The next group consecration starts on September 15th!