24th Day — Mary at the Foot of the Cross
There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother. (St. John xix. 25.)
1. What words can ever describe the indescribable anguish that rent the sacred heart of Mary as she looked upon her divine Son hanging on the cross! Was there ever such a spectacle? He is so torn and mangled, covered with a mantle of blood from head to foot, that one can scarcely recognize in that unsightly figure the human form. Can it be He, the fairest among the children of men? My God, what can have transformed Him into this piteous, this ghastly object?
2. Every wound in Jesus' body was also a wound in the heart of Mary: every fiber, every nerve throbbing in agony. Every pang He suffered reechoed in her heart. She endured by her compassion a share in all the anguish of His Passion. What was the thick darkness around compared with the black darkness that overspread her heart!
3. Why did Mary suffer all this? That she might be our Mother, the Mother of mankind. She who brought forth her divine Son without a pang suffered many a piercing pang when from the cross her dying Son commended to her the sinful sons of men. That was indeed a maternity of sorrow she suffered for our sins: for mine.
Jesus, when the three hours were run,
Bequeathed thee from the cross to me.
How can I rightly love thy Son,Sweet Mother, if I love not thee?