September 16

Commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows


 Yesterday, September 15, has usually been the traditional commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows. As we consider the mothers all over this earth who lose children daily to violence, hunger and disease, it is worth pondering these words of Elizabeth Johnson:

Mary “joined the desolate cadre of women through the ages who experience the terrible human condition of outliving one’s child. There is no speaking this racking sorrow. It is out of the natural order of things. Worse yet, this death did not occur in the natural order of things but was violently inflicted…`Her suffering places her memory in solidarity with mothers of children dead by state violence everywhere. Calling on her memory grieving mothers, wives and daughters find strength in their bitter struggle against state oppression and personal despair.”

Truly Our Sister, Elizabeth Johnson


 Mary, comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.


Reflect on the violence and the conditions that flow from violence that destroy the lives of children. In what small ways can you break through the culture of violence and death and help to build peace? It may be as practical as education and good example and nonparticipation in the kind of talk that solidifies divisions and stereotypes.

Suggested Reading

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn’t be comforted, because they are no more.
Matthew 2:18

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19:25-27

I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.
E. M. Forster

I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.
Barack Obama

Losing a child is like losing your soul. You may put on a front for the world but, inside, you are dying.
Author unknown

To be a mother is a call to suffer. Oh yes, it’s more. But it’s not less.
John Piper

No mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology.
Ronald Reagan

“Now I am numb.”
Burmese author and rights advocate, Sayamagyi Kyi Oo, after her son had been arrested four times for public acts in protest.

“Is it possible not to be worried?, there was a flood of people, just like myself, who didn’t know where their children were.”
Shahrzad Kariman, the mother of Iranian imprisoned human rights activist advocate Ms. Shiva Nazar Ahari,

“I lost Sohrab for the crime of freedom, love, and peace (in Iran)“Let remain and live the rest of the children of this land.
”Parvin Fahimi.

To love another person is to see the face of God.
Victor Hugo