“For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion” is but a simple prayer, a part of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a prayer that could easily have come from the lips of a woman. It could easily have come from the lips of the Mother of Jesus.
Father, why did He have to suffer so much? You saw what they did to Him! So much suffering, so much pain, so much blood….
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One,
Have Mercy on us and on the whole world….
This prayer comes from the lips of Everywoman. It came from the lips of Eve, who undoubtedly grieved as one son was killed by her other son. It came from the lips of Rebekah, even as earlier she had encouraged her son to cheat his twin brother, causing them to fight into generations of rivalry.
Have Mercy on us and on the whole world!
It certainly came from the lips of the mother of Moses, her son, who was only a little boy, not even walking yet. Smiling. A little boy whose mother chose to give him away rather than have him killed. How wondrous that You, Lord, chose to have him returned to his mother to nurse and raise him, a mother who later surrendered him to Pharaoh’s daughter to adopt, that he might become a powerful leader among an alien people.
Holy God! Have mercy on us and on the whole world!
It came from the lips of the women whose sons were likewise killed in Bethlehem at the ages of two or younger by a bloodthirsty, deranged and threatened tyrant.
Father, why do we have to suffer so much! Father, why did He have to suffer so much?
We are women. We are Woman. Due to our more compassionate nature, we are more likely to be affected by the sorrow and grief of others. When we see a person suffering, we are often touched with a deeper and complementary sorrow. So what can we do with this sorrow? As women we have the opportunity to enter into the suffering of Christ, to “complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” (Colossians 1:24)
So how do we “complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”? A blog by Mark Shea (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/how-do-we-fill-up-what-is-lacking-in-christs-sufferings) gives us some thoughts:
“Christ mediates his grace to us through creatures, especially other people. We have nothing to offer God by ourselves. Even our ability to say yes is a gift of grace. But God has so willed that we can indeed make that offering—or not. When we do, it is joined to Christ’s offering and becomes part of the gift he makes of himself to the Church. The same is true of the mysterious sufferings of those who, seemingly, have nothing to offer *but* suffering. From a practical and utilitarian viewpoint, a bedridden victim of some disease appears to have “nothing to offer”. But then, so did Jesus when he hung on the cross and, to utilitarian eyes, accomplished nothing useful for six hours. In fact, of course, he accomplished the redemption of the world. A suffering soul likewise can join his or her sufferings to Jesus and, in his mysterious exchange of love, do great and wonderful things for others.”
So, of course we as women are more likely to reach into the lives of others, and — in so doing — enter into the sufferings of Christ, who suffers in His Body, the Church, today. We as women are gifted with that ability to enter into the grief and sorrow of others today by recalling the sorrow and grief that we experienced in our yesterdays. This is, of course, what we choose to do as members of Elizabeth Ministry. We who have known the sorrow of a loss, whether it be the loss of physical motherhood, a baby who dies before birth, an infant or child’s death, a serious illness, a missing child, the struggles of raising teens or of being a parent in general, we remember and relive our sorrow, and enter by God’s grace and mercy, into that of others.
Holy God! Have mercy on us and on the whole world!
So as Mary witnessed the death of Her Son, how might she have responded in her sorrow? Undoubtedly she would have gone out to find and grieve with the mother of Judas Iscariot! Let us now pray for those who need our prayers today.
Prayer Needs for March, 2016
- In thanksgiving for the peaceful move of Jeannie Hannemann’s father to a care facility, and for t/he safe delivery of “Celia’s” healthy baby. (Celia continues to receive treatment for pancreatitis. Jesus, please continue to care for her!)
- For Bonnie and Chris, as well as all other women/couples who have recently suffered the heartache of miscarriage, that they might receive support and understanding.
- For Nadine and their baby boy Pliya Aneal (Kirundi for “Miracle” and “God’s Response”) who was born by c-section at 25 weeks gestation.
- For “Tina” whose baby, MacKenzie, suffers from anencephaly, and will be born in May and is not expected to survive.
- For all pregnant women, for wisdom and hope in carrying their babies to a healthy future.
- For RECLAiM students and all who need God’s grace in overcoming the use of pornography and the other unhealthy sexual behaviors.
- For “Joe” who has asked for prayers to properly balance the needs of his family and his job.
- For the parents of seriously ill children, especially Brady and Hannah.
- For parents of teens and young adults, especially those who struggle with insecurity, poor self-image and depression.
- For those with limited mental, physical or developmental abilities, that we might respond to their needs with compassion and generosity.
- For a respect for all life, from natural conception to natural death.
- For the needy of the world, especially refugees and those affected by terrorism.
- For the physical and financial needs of Elizabeth Ministry and RECLAiM Sexual Health.
- For all who pray for our needs.