Saturday, September 15, 2018

Mater Dolorosa: Edith's Stein's "Stabat Mater"

I wasn't looking for it, but came across such a perfect set of reflections from St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross for today's observance of Our Lady of Sorrows that I had to share it with you. Perfect for this feast, yes, but also perfect for this year of sorrow, too.

In her retreat reflections before final vows, St. Theresa Benedicta wrote out her Good Friday and Holy Saturday meditation on Our Lady:  
"Seeing the Lord in the hands of unworthy priests must be as painful to Mary as seeing him in the hands of the executioners... [Hence] the need for prayer and sacrifice for priests."

On Good Friday itself, she had prayed to Mary:

Today I stood with you beneath the cross
and felt so clearly, as never before,
that beneath the cross  you became our Mother.

How even an earthly mother faithfully ensures
fulfilling her son's last will.
But you were the handmaid of the Lord.
And for the being and life of God's becoming flesh
completely gave your being and life.

So you have taken into your heart those who belong to him,
and by the life blood of  your bitter pains
you purchased new life for every soul.
You know us all: our wounds, our weaknesses,
you also know the heavenly radiance which your Son's love
would like to pour out on us in eternal brightness.
So you carefully direct our steps,
no price is too high for you to lead us to the goal.
But those chosen by you as companions will some day
surround you at the eternal throne,
they must stand with you here at the cross
and with the life blood of bitter pains
purchase the heavenly radiance for the precious souls
whom God's Son entrusts to them as an inheritance.

From Edith Stein: Selected Writings

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