By Fr. Roy Cimagala
SEPTEMBER 15 celebrates the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, a most relevant memorial that tells us that the best way to handle our unavoidable sorrows in this life is to go to Mary.
She is not only the best teacher of how to handle our sorrows but also the best company we can have when we find ourselves in some dark and painful moments in our life.
She can tell us that whatever sorrows and pain we can have in this life can be converted into something good and positive, something that will lead us to our repentance and purification.
And that’s because she will reassure us that as long as we refer all these sorrows and pains to God, as we should, and even if these sorrows and pains are self-inflicted as they usually are, God can make wonders out of them.
It’s a divine way of handling our sorrows and pains as articulated by St. Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: “Our sorrow was used by God, and so we suffered no loss…The sorrow God sends us produces a repentance that leads to salvation, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (7,9-10)
We should imprint these most reassuring words in our mind and heart so that we can avoid falling into unnecessary bad consequences when we find ourselves in this situation of sorrows and pains. Nowadays, since many people do not have the theological mind in handling their sorrows and, thus, fail to have recourse to our Lady, the cases of emotional, mental and psychological illnesses have grown.
Our predicament today is that our attitude towards this unavoidable element in our life is taken out of its fundamental context of faith and religion. We just look at it in a purely human and natural way. We just look for the human and natural causes as well as for their human and natural solutions or remedies. But they can only go so far.
Thus, we often exaggerate or worsen our sufferings, as we fail to know their ultimate whys and wherefores. Thus, we often would not know how to suffer them, since we would merely rely on our physical, emotional or psychological stamina, or some external material resources like drugs. The spiritual and supernatural way is not resorted to.
Our Lady of Sorrows can help us see the over-all picture of things that would give us the proper perspective and context in which all our sorrows and pains should be seen and understood.
Looking at her closely at the foot of the cross would certainly help us to get at least an inkling of the positive value of our sorrows and pains. And especially praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary with her would certainly be helpful also.
Let’s learn to handle our sorrows and pains with Mary who will teach us to develop a spiritual attitude and supernatural outlook in life, based on our faith in God that has to grow stronger everyday. That faith, of course, has to give rise to hope and be nourished by charity.
They are the ones that give the full picture of our life, and thus, integrate all the other aspects, including all the negative things in our life, putting them in one organic and redemptive whole. They are the ones that connect us with God our Creator and with everybody and everything else.