Forget not the groanings of your mother. - Ecclus. 7:29
Jesus has many friends to partake of His joys, His glory, His holy table, but He finds few to follow Him to the Cross on Calvary. Mary also finds many to share in her greatness and her triumph, who know how to avail themselves of the omnipotence with which she has been endowed, but she looks round in vain among those dear to her; she sees none to console her, not one to bear her company in her dolours - who loves to meditate thereon, who is pleased to suffer with her. And by this alone does she recognize her true children; see if you be of the number. She invites you in the following terms - "Child, forget not the groanings of your Mother! Recall the tears you have cost her."
Who shall recount the Dolours of Mary? Oh. to measure the extent, the continuity of these, one should be able to penetrate into her Heart, nay, into the Sacred Heart of Jesus Himself, since, in becoming His Mother, she associated herself in all Its anguish, all Its agony. O Virgin daughter of Sion! to whom shall I compare you? With whom shall I liken you? Your grief is great as the sea; your days, your nights, have passed in weeping. And what is the cause of this immeasureable grief? It is Jesus; it is the ignominies, the torments of His Passion, which you endure in your Heart - not alone during this night, this ever memorable day of His sufferings and death, which eternity will not suffice to meditate on and understand - but during the entire three-and-thirty years of His mortal career. O Mary! if to you it has been given to enter, on the day of your Assumption, more into the joy of the Lord than has been granted to any other creature; if you entered the holy city leaning on your Divine Son Himself; ah! it is because, during your pilgrimage, you had received Him dead into your arms, you had entered more profoundly than any other into His sufferings. O Children of Mary, how much do we owe to our Mother for the life-long pangs she bore for us in the person of her Divine Son, for those which she underwent at the foot of the Cross in offering to God the death of Jesus for the salvation of all in general and each in particular! An Angel revealed to Saint Bridget that this sacrifice was more intolerable to Mary than the combined pangs of all martyrdoms. Our Holy Mother complained personally to Saint Bridget that "very few condoled with her in her sorrows, the greater number of persons living and dying without having ever given them a serious thought." Our Lord, Who delights in seeing His Mother honoured, said one day to Blessed Veronica de Binasco - "Precious in My sight are the tears shed in honour of My Passion; but, as I love My Mother with an immense affection, I do not less esteem meditation on the Dolours she endured at My death."
Impose on yourself the sweet obligation of meditating now and then on the Dolours of Mary; occasionally recite the Stabat Mater, that touching hymn of a soul deeply sensible of Mary's anguish. It was revealed to Saint Elizabeth, a Benedictine Religious, that our Lord has promised four special graces to those who cherish devotion to the Dolours of Mary,
(1) That whoever will invoke her through her Dolours shall do penance before death.
(2) The Lord will comfort him in his tribulations, especially those of his last hour.
(3) Jesus will imprint His Passion in his mind and heart.
(4) Mary herself shall obtain what- ever graces she desires in favour of those devoted to her Dolours.
O thou Mother, fount of love,
Touch my spirit from above.
Make my heart with thine accord!
Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, celebrated for his tender devotion to Mary, contracted, from childhood, the habit of visiting thrice daily an image of our Lady of Dolours; and on Saturday he totally abstained from food. He was accustomed to rise at midnight to meditate on her sorrows. The Blessed Virgin knew how to reward him; appearing to him while yet young, she bade him enter the Order of her servants, which injunction he obeyed. Towards the close of his life she showed him two crowns - one of rubies, in recompense for his life-long compassion for her griefs; the other of pearls, in reward of the purity he had consecrated under her patronage. Lastly, she appeared to him at death. The Blessed Joachim then begged the favour of dying on the same day as our Lord. "Prepare, then," Mary said to him, "for tomorrow, Friday, you shall have your wish, and die suddenly; tomorrow you shall be with me in Paradise." In effect, the next day, as the Passion according to Saint John was being sung in the Church, when they came to the words - "There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother," Joachim fainted away; and at this other passage - "And bowing His Head, He gave up the ghost," he breathed his last, and the church was filled with great light and a very sweet perfume.
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
"Eat, O My friends, and be inebriated. My dearly beloved." - Canticle 5:1
This is Your invitation to me from the place of Your concealment. And the Seraphic Doctor, commenting on these tender words, tells us - "All friends dirnk of this wine, but the beloved are inebriated therewith." My Lord, if it be so pleasing to breathe the perfume of Your sweetness, what will it be to taste thereof? If he who only approaches his lips finds such strength, what shall be said of him who fully gratifies his desire? Oh, I must confess, it is not enough to feel the distant perfume of Your sweetness, nor even to taste it with measure, I desire to be inebriated. Oh, who will give me to have You in my heart, to be filled with the wine of Your love, to embrace You, O my God. I know that the Spouse says - "Drink My friends, and be inebriated, My dearly beloved." If the wretched soul that implores the favour of being reckoned ambng the dearest friends of God is unworthy that favour, He that proposes it is so good, I dare hope to obtain it. Can I doubt that He Who disdained not to suffer for me will also be ready to share with me His wealth?* Has He not given me the pledge, the fulfilment of it in this Sacrament, in this Heavenly Manna, which contains in itself all delights, as the Church sings - "Thou hast given them Bread from Heaven, replenished with all delights."
Give me to love You, O Jesus, annihilated for love of me, grant me Your love. Burst all barriers, let Your love inundate my soul. O You, Whom day and night I alone desire, Come! come!
O Mary, the most loving and most beloved of creatures, teach me daily, hourly, what I should do and suffer to obtain the immense favour of being counted not only among the friends, but even among the dearest friends of Jesus.
- taken from The Month of May Consecrated to the Glory of the Mother of God, The Queen of Heaven