Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. It was such a beautiful day out, a day that makes it difficult to think on sorrow and pain. Yet, because of the pain and sorrow of Our Mother, and of her sacrifice, Jesus died for us. He triumphed over sin so that we can be with Him in heaven when we die. In the pain, there is joy! And so it is for us, in our daily lives, if we have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it.
The kids and I took advantage of the nice day and went for a nature walk (my husband was gone to a baseball game). I turned it into a scavenger hunt of sorts as we talked about the sorrows of Mary. In the past, I have seen ideas for creating a garden for Our Lady of Sorrows. Not having the time or the material at this time, I brought out a small vase and we searched for plants that reminded us of each of Mary's sorrows.
The first sorrow of Mary: the prophecy of Simeon. We found some spear-like foliage to remind us of this sorrow (in his prophecy, Simeon refers to a sword piercing Mary's heart).
The second sorrow of Mary: the flight into Egypt. Flight reminded us of flying... of birds... of feathers, which the feathery fronds of asparagus reminded us of.
The third sorrow of Mary: the loss of Jesus in the temple. We decided to use dandelions. For two reasons. One is that the dandelion has been referred to as Mary's bitter sorrow. The other is that we thought that when a dandelion turns to seed, the seeds fly about and are difficult to see/find. Plus, as you can see in the picture, the dandelion seems to be tucked away, hidden.
The fourth sorrow of Mary: Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary. For this, we found some ivy, symbolizing "where God has walked."
The fifth sorrow of Mary: Jesus dies on the cross. We thought of making a cross to add into the bouquet but then found a blue, almost tear-drop drooping weed of a flower that reminded us of Mary's tears - tears she was sure to have shed as she watched Jesus suffer.
The sixth sorrow of Mary: Mary receives the dead body of Jesus. Skipper actually found something for this - a yellowing, dead leaf with brown spots like tears. I thought it fitting.
The seventh sorrow of Mary: Jesus is laid in the tomb. We plucked a branch from our new mum plant, as mums are generally associated with death and are believed to have been laid in Christ's tomb.
I really liked this simple activity. If you would like to research more, I found these links helpful, but as you can see, we used what we had on hand as well:
Prayer to the Mother of Sorrows
Ah, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. Ah, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, ah, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell. Amen.