Hello Rosary Lovers! In this post we will explore the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, full of grace.
Different Routes to God
In Catholicism, there are different routes to God. Yes, they are all solely and only through JESUS. But in Christ, there are many ways we can get to him and through him to God.
Let’s explain this a little using the Hindu religion as an example.
In Hinduism, there are many gods. Different Hindus are devoted to different gods.
But really, there is only one GOD in Hinduism, called Brahman.
So there is one God, but under many different forms, or displaying many attributes. These forms are the many other gods, but there are really just aspects of the one God.
The different gods are different manners by which the one God reveals itself to the human experience.
By experiencing a different god, the Hindu experiences GOD in a different way.
Now in Catholicism we see a similar sort of thing. Catholics relate to God in all sorts of different ways.
Many Catholics have a special devotion to Jesus, in such a way that he is the only heavenly person they relate to. They perhaps speak to Jesus far more even than to God the Father or the Holy Spirit.
Of those who only ever relate to Jesus, many of them only ever relate to him through his Sacred Heart.
Others have a special devotion to St Joseph. They speak to him in all their problems and worries.
Others have a special devotion to a specific saint, like St Padre Pio, or St Benedict, or whoever.
And then many, many Catholics have a special devotion to Mary. They tend to run to her more than to any other divine or heavenly being.
Now, these are all different ways of accessing God in Jesus Christ. They are different routes to God, but all through Jesus.
We don’t really know why some of us are more attracted to certain heavenly beings rather than others. I personally don’t have any idea why I adore Mary and run to her with most of my issues.
At the end of the day, this is much less about theology and much more about relationship. Being Catholic is about being in a relationship with the Divine. And different Catholics simply relate to God very differently.
Many of us combine a variety of these approaches to God in our lives, and many other approaches not mentioned here.
For instance, I have a special devotion to:
- The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
- Mary full of grace
- My Mother
- Mother of God
- St Joseph
- My Father
- St Padre Pio
- St Francis of Assisi
- Sacred Heart of Jesus
And so on. All of these, and more, play a very important part in my life.
Different Routes to Mary
Catholics treat Mary in much the same way as they treat this entire manner of relating to God that we’ve just described.
So for instance, there is only one Mary. But different Catholics relate to her differently.
Many Catholics relate to Mary simply as ‘Mary’.
But other Catholics want to explore other aspects of Mary. They find one or a few of these other aspects of Mary particularly attractive in their spirituality.
One way to approach Mary is under the title ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’.
Another way is ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ or ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’.
Another way might be as ‘Queen of Heaven and Earth’, or as ‘the Immaculate Conception’.
One of the most time-honoured ways to approach Mary is under the title ‘Mother of God’ or Theotokos (Greek). Orthodox Christians primarily approach Mary in this manner, along with many Eastern Catholics.
There are almost as many different titles for Mary as there are Catholics, because Mary is infinitely deep and mysterious in who she is.
Then there are those many Catholics who cannot stop focusing on her Heart.
Some might focus just on the Heart of Mary, whatever that means to them. They may meditate on the love of Mary’s heart, or her gentleness and meekness and pity for sinners.
Others Catholics prefer to relate to her under the title of ‘The Immaculate Heart of Mary’. The focus of their relationship with Mary is on the purity and perfection and beauty of her Heart.
The Sorrowful Heart of Mary
Finally, there are those of us who like to relate to Mary by ‘The Sorrowful Heart of Mary’. The focus here is on the pains and sorrows of her heart.
This devotion is implied in Holy Scripture. In Luke 2, St Simeon the prophet tells Mary: ‘A sword will pierce your heart.’ Catholics sometimes depict this in images of Mary, with her Heart visible and a sword plunged into it. This is a biblical image.
What are the Sorrows of Mary?
The sorrows of Mary’s sorrowful Heart are potentially endless. There is so much that grieves the heart of the Mother of God.
The Sorrowful Heart grieves over the lack of love that sinners show to Jesus.
The Sorrowful Heart grieves over the blasphemies that daily rise up to heaven to God’s throne, so insulting the Divine Beauty.
Mary grieves over war in the world, particularly the present one between Russia and Ukraine.
Our Lady of Fatima grieved deeply over the first World War when she appeared in the early 1900s. She then predicted the 2nd World War and the rise of Communism, both filled with terrible pains to her Heart.
Mary wants none of this. She longs to see sinners come to the knowledge of the truth and come to embrace God.
The Seven Sorrows of Mary Devotion
But there are 7 Sorrows of Mary’s Heart which are uniquely special in the Church. They are called the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
This is a very simple and powerful devotion, and one that pleases Mary a great deal.
To do it, all you need is to know the Hail Mary prayer and to know the 7 Sorrows and be able to recite them one after the other.
You simply recite each sorrow, perhaps meditate/think about it (although you partially do this anyway when you announce it), and then pray a Hail Mary.
Here is the Devotion:
- The Prophecy of Simeon (announce this, perhaps think on it, then pray a Hail Mary)
- The Flight into Egypt (announce this, perhaps meditate on it, then pray a Hail Mary)
- The Loss of Jesus for 3 days (announce this, pray a Hail Mary)
- The Carrying of the Cross (announce, pray Hail Mary)
- The Crucifixion of Jesus (announce, pray Hail Mary)
- The Taking Down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
- The Burial of Jesus
The Seven Graces of the Seven Sorrows Devotion
Mary grants seven graces to souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Marys and meditating on her tears and sorrows. The devotion was passed on by St Bridget.
- I will grant peace to their families.
- They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
- I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
- I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
- I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
- I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
- I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
Consecration Prayer to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary
Below is a powerful consecration prayer that I have found very useful. If you pray it everyday for a month, the impact on your life could be incredible.
I found it on this website. I share it with you here:
Act of Consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Lord Jesus, Who on Calvary and in the Holy Eucharist hast shown Thyself to us as the God of love and mercy, kneeling humbly at Thy feet, we adore Thee and beg once more for Thy forgiveness and for Thy divine pity.
And, remembering that by Thine own act on Calvary, the human race, represented by Thy beloved disciple John, gained a Mother in the Virgin of Sorrows, we desire to honour the sufferings and woes of our Mother’s Heart by devoting ourselves to it in solemn consecration.
It is but just, O Mary, that our souls should strive henceforth to venerate thee with special homage under the title of thy Sorrowful Heart, a title won by sharing in the whole Passion of thy divine Son and thus co-operating in the work of our redemption, a title due to thee in justice, and dear, we believe, to Jesus and to thine own Heart wounded by the wound in His.
We consecrate, therefore, O Mary, to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, ourselves, our families, and our country. Have pity upon us. See our tribulations and the anguish of our hearts in the midst of the mourning and calamities that lay waste the world. Deign, O Mother of God, to obtain mercy for us that, being converted and purified by sorrow and made strong in faith, we may henceforth be devoted servants of Jesus Christ and of His Church, for whose triumph we pray. O Mary Immaculate, we promise to be faithful clients of thy Sorrowful Heart. Intercede for us, we beseech thee, with thy Son that, at the very cry of thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, His divine Power may speedily bring to pass the triumph of right and justice. Amen.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have pity upon us.
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us and save us.
God bless you very much and let me know if I can be of any other help to you in your relationship with the Divine.