Our Lady of Sorrows
The novena to Our Lady of Sorrows is a beautiful prayer in which we ask, through Our Lady, to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to grow in virtue.
I was honored to speak this morning at the Church of the Epiphany for the Women's Lenten Retreat, and was blessed to meet many beautiful and inspiring women. As promised ladies, here is a little summary of the conclusion of our time together and the handout.
How do we maintain the courage to live our “unexpected” lives as faithful women?
We look to the one who is the perfect example of courage from the moment she is told that God has a plan for her and it will radically change her life... and the lives of all humanity, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
From the moment of the Annunciation on she lived with the greatest courage, because she lived with the greatest love. I believe we learn from and are nurtured in our virtue of courage by entering with her into that which embodies the greatest courage ever exhibited in one of God creatures—Mary's Seven Sorrows.
"One cannot love without suffering or suffer without loving." St. Gianna
The key to understanding Mary’s courage is to understand her seven sorrows. Through the seven sorrows comes the realization that God does not spare us from pain. Our pain, however, can co-exist with God's peace and God can use our pain to draw us closer to him. To succeed in this, we must learn from Our Lady of Sorrows how to have the courage to open our hearts to God's will. If we close our hearts to His will and cling to our own understanding, we carry not only the original pain, but we also lack the peace of surrender. This tends to lead to live in the valley of vice: anger, self-pity, and despair.
Whatever pain or trials enter your life, look to Our Lady. She has experienced all and through every experience, she constantly believed in and lived the will of God.
Click here for the handout -> Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Novena