The Tears of St. Peter, by Guercino
Meditation - III
Mary in her Solitude.
Let us follow Mary when she return to the city of Jerusalem. St. John
has taken her to his own home. Let us enter that house and remain awhile with our Mother in her Solitude.
Let us taste that feeling
of utter desolation that pierces afresh her sorrowing heart! Mary is weeping bitterly, for great indeed is her affliction and sorrow, even as the sea. There is none now to gladden her heart, for Jesus, her joy, her comfort, and her all, is gone from her.
“Weeping she weeps; there is none to console her among all that are dear to her, because the Comforter, the relief of her soul is gone from her.” (Lam.
i, 2-16). “The Glorious One of Israel has forsaken her.” (Ib. ii, 1-10.) “The Breath of her mouth, Christ the Lord, is taken away.” (In. iv. 20.) “Therefore does the Virgin of Jerusalem hold her peace, and sprinkle her head with
dust, and gird herself with hair cloth.”
Jesus and Mary had been companions in joy and in sorrow, and no words can express their intimate union.
Mary has shared even the childish griefs of Jesus. She had been the friend of His maturer years, and the companion of His lonely hours. She has shared His poverty, His humiliations, and the agony of His Passion. She clung to Him when all others had forsaken
Him, and most willingly would she have laid her head in the grave of her Divine Son. But Jesus has departed from her, and Mary is alone; alone in her sorrow. How desolate is our bereaved Mother. How intense the anguish of that martyred heart! She has indeed
drunk the chalice even to its dregs.
Every action of Mary’s life was fulfilled with a view to Jesus, was directed solely by the love of Him, and
was done for His eyes alone. It was this banishment from His sight, the severing of that close union with Him, that bitter separation from her Son which flooded her immaculate heart with the uttermost desolation.
Colloquy. O! most sorrowful Mary! If ever we should be overcome by that most cruel desolation of soul, and Jesus should leave us and hide Himself, so that we can nowhere find
rest or consolation in prayer, let us then turn to thee, O! Mother of Mercy! And invoking thee by the merits of the sorrows endured in thy desolation, may our past negligences be pardoned, and the light of thy Son’s Countenance shine again upon our souls.
Grant us, O! Mother, such a tender devotion to thy sorrows, and above all to the Passion of Christ which caused them that we may be daily more purified from sin,
and finally be admitted to reign with thee and thy Divine Son for all eternity.
Prayer. Seven Hail Marys, and the third verse
of the Stabat Mater.
Practice. Detachment from the things of this world. Frequently to beg of God the great gift of true devotion
to the Blessed Virgin.
Aspiration. O! Mother most desolate, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death.
Source: Manual of Devotions of Our Lady of Sorrows, Edition 1861