Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tears of Our Lady
The memory of an idea past lingered in my head. Very simple in it's practice, yet complex, this sincere symbolic statement spoke volumes compared to more elaborate gestures. Perhaps it had to do with the rawness of little hearts as they have recently endured a tiny bit of the pain and sorrow that loss brings.
Squeals of interest and delight resounded in the room where we learn and live together when they saw the pretty yellow drops in the bowl. We talked about the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady and scratched them out on our chalkboard. I asked them to take the lemon drops, one at a time, and slowly savor them while contemplating each of the sorrows of our Blessed Mother's heart.
There will be layers of sour that might even cause you some pain alternating with layers of sweet to reward you for you perseverance. Try to think about the pain of Our Lady's heart and how she had to endure it even when the sweet reward seemed but a glimmer in the distance.
Silence was the order of the morning. One sorrow. Then another. They quietly embraced this exercise and I was amazed by their conviction.
Four sorrows had now been counted and consumed. The Crucifixion was in sight. Shortcake turned to me with brimful brown eyes and an equally heavy heart and said, "I don't think I can take one more."
Oh dearest, little one.... many times in life will these feelings haunt you. Hurting heart, bleary eyes, lingering pain so fresh that you can still taste it to the point that your trembling voice breaks the silence and cries out in agony, "I can't take one more!"
Our Lady knows.
I wonder at what point she heard those words echoing in her ears. Her grief had to be tremendous. But she was free from the stain of Original Sin. Wouldn't she have been strong enough? Wouldn't she have been brave enough? Yes, but she also grieved deeply. She had to be in pain; not the sappy sentimental grief that some artists depict but real, trembling, heart wrenching pain.
And in knowing, she comforts us. She holds us while we wait for the sweetness.
Go to Mary, little one. She can't make it go away but like all good mothers, she wants to. Rest in her arms. She is strong enough. She is brave enough. She knows.
*Lemonheads were the closest thing I could find to lemon drops.