The Fifth Sorrow of Mary is when Mary stands at the foot of the cross of her beloved son, Jesus. Now the sword is piercing her heart. There is nothing she can do, he is dying. Though she may understand partially, she is still a human mother. Her pain is excruciating. She wishes she could die in his place.
When we pray this Sorrow of Mary we remember all those who are watching a loved one die today. Every parent watching a dying child. Every child watching a dying parent. A husband, watching a dying wife. A friend, watching a dying friend. And of course, those who are dying alone. We can pray for everyone in the whole world who is by the side of the dying, especially those who have no Christian hope. We can pray for every single person who dies today without another person to keep watch with them.
On the cross, Jesus is in the hands of God. His mother can do nothing.
When we are with someone who is dying, we too have stopped being able to do anything. Now the person we love is in the hands of God. What terrible pain it is, to be helpless. And there are other kinds of death. Marriages die. Friendships die. Relationships die. Miscarriage happens. Babies are sometimes stillborn. When we sorrow over the dying (and pray for others who are losing someone today) we unite ourselves to the Blessed Mother's pain, and in turn, to the suffering of Christ. He suffered looking down on his suffering mother! We can ask for help. We can ask to accept God taking into his hands, this person we love. And we can ask for peace for EVERYONE suffering loss today, and for those who are dying without anyone to pray for them. Pray BIG. Pray for the whole world.
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I am a Catholic wife, mom and grandma. In 1995, after Bible college and a few years as an Evangelical Missionary, I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. These are my personal musings on Scripture, prayer, and living close to Jesus.