Thoughts on the Patient Endurance of Sorrows and Sufferings
[Continued from yesterday]
...Let those who would form some idea of her compassion look at Mary, from the moment of the Incarnation, standing in spirit as truly under the shadow of the cross as when she actually stood by the cross of Jesus on Mount Calvary.
During that more than thirty years of martyrdom, her knowledge of Jesus' sufferings did not increase, but her realization of them became more and more vivid and painful in proportion as she saw Jesus increase in age, in wisdom, and in grace, until she saw Him offered a bleeding, dying Victim on the tree. Every time she saw Jesus, every time she heard Him, every time she thought of Him, she was compelled in spirit to offer Him as a propitiation for the sins of the world.
Mary always saw the end. Says Father Faber: "The sword of Simeon's prophecy was the crucifixion. Everything in the life of Jesus reminded her of the death He was to die, and therefore required her to consent to the sacrifice of her Son anew."
There is a painting which may be called "The Shadow of the Cross." It represents a scene in the workshop of Nazareth. Joseph is employed at the carpenter's bench, Mary sits plying the distaff. A bright summer's day pours a flood of light into the room. Jesus, a beautiful youth, with filial piety informing every feature, advances with outstretched arms toward His Mother to embrace her, and to imprint a kiss upon her cheek. Oh, what would this scene have been to Mary, with what joy would it have gilated her soul, if only the future had been concealed from her! But, alas! looking at Jesus, the Mother's' joy is turned into grief, because she sees that the loving attitude of her Son casts the shadow of the cross on the opposite wall....
Compiled and Edited by Rev. F. X. Lasance
Author of "My Prayerbook," etc.
1937, Benziger Brothers
Printers to the Holy Apostolic See