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.

She knows.

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.


  1. Beautiful, Charlotte. Your girls are precious ones.

  2. Wow. Thank you Charlotte. This evangelical girl has been praying the Rosary and really considering Mary's part in my redemption. Your post was beautiful and instructive. I envy your girls! :-)

    ~Teri in VA

  3. Teri,

    Let me share with you a story of a friend of mine who was in a similar place... grasping at the role of Mary in our redemption. It was the Lenten season and she was in a beautiful church praying the Stations of the Cross. She arrived at the fourth station and begged God to help her figure out and understand this "Mary thing". In her heart, she felt a stirring but these questions were swirling around her head and drowning out everything else. Why do we honor her? Why should we love her? What role should she play in my life? Jesus meets His mother, Jesus meets His mother....And then, she just knew! As clearly as if she had known it all her life... we love her, because HE loved her.

    And Mary herself told us to follow His lead!

    Blessings on your journey!

  4. Beautiful, Charlotte. Just beautiful.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Charlotte. Your words are beautiful.

  6. This is beautifully moving. wow. Thank you.

  7. wow.
    that left me with chills.
    thank you, charlotte.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!