Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Lady of Sorrows, Iraq, and the Crisis in the Church

I have been praying to Our Lady of Sorrows for some time now.

I started by praying a “Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows” which I found on-line and which offered a sorrow and a meditation for each day of the week.  Each day, the chaplet instructs that at the end of the meditation for the day, seven “Hail Mary’s” are to be said, one for each sorrow. On the seventh day, three additional “Hail Mary’s” are offered in honor of the Blessed Mother’s tears.

Currently, every day I pray an Ave for each of the first three sorrows before praying Morning Prayer, and one for each of the last four sorrows before praying prime. Before praying Terce, I pray the three Aves in honor of Her tears.

And I was thinking about those tears recently.

Of course we can imagine that Our Lady observes the current persecution and genocide of the Christians in Iraq with great sorrow and many tears.

I also imagine that my own sins cause Our Lady to weep.

But there is so much in our Church today that must cause those holy eyes to weep copious tears. How many tears does Our Blessed Mother shed over the way the bishops have not only failed to teach the faith, but have actually misled the faithful in some areas? It’s not hard to find a Catholic who doesn’t believe that Jesus is Truly Present in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s not hard to find Catholics who support gay “marriage”, or even abortion. How sad this must make Our Lady.

I think about how sad She must be about the suffering of the Christians in Iraq, but I also think there must be some joy there as well – joy that people will not turn away from Her Son, even when threatened with torture and death. So many of those poor people have suffered, will suffer, continue to suffer awful physical atrocities at the hands of the IS, and many others are suffering and dying from bodily hunger and thirst. Many Iraqi Christians have died, and we can only wonder how many went straight to Heaven.

Many other Catholics, though, are suffering an affliction of the soul right here in the US, and many don’t even know it. The bishops have failed to teach the faith, and people are suffering for lack of that teaching. They are not suffering bodily hunger and thirst, but their souls are suffering.

How much more might Our Blessed Mother be weeping for the souls that are coming perilously close to being lost for eternity due to the errors of the bishops? How much does She weep for those very bishops who may have perhaps lost their supernatural faith and are quite possibly trudging down the road to hell even as they govern their dioceses? I would not want to be in the shoes of a wayward bishop, especially at the hour of death.

The bodies that are butchered and starved and dehydrated to the point of death have suffered immensely. But there is an end to that suffering.

Souls, on the other hand, are immortal. They can suffer for all eternity in hell.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us!

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