What would you think if you took your infant child to church to be baptized and the priest gave you a prophetic warning that you would suffer so much in life that “a sword will pierce your very soul?”
That would be pretty intense to say the least. This is exactly what happened to our Blessed Mother when she and St. Joseph presented baby Jesus to the high priest, Simeon, in the temple. In contemplating this mystery of the rosary and putting yourself in her shoes, it might seem reasonable to go forth from that point with an extreme sense of caution… not trusting, thinking twice or even three times before making decisions, trying to remain in control of every aspect of life so as to reduce the likelihood of something bad happening… Yes, this would make sense to any parent.
But sacred tradition and the scriptures give us a very different description of the kind of parent Mary was, all the way to the end when the sword did, indeed, pierce her heart. She was kind, loving, and patient; humble, thoughtful and generous. But probably her most astute display of virtue was her unwavering trust in God and obedience to His will despite her suffering. Everything she did was in accordance with His Divine plan, even when she had good reason to fear the future or be skeptical. Her life, and that of those whom she loved, lay completely in the hands of God. This total donation of herself and her will was what enabled Mary to live a life of complete freedom and joy, despite the sorrows she endured. She was truly a beacon of hope to all that knew her, and still is to us today.
Your divorce may have you believing that you cannot trust anymore… that the pain you have suffered is too much to find joy in life… that God has somehow left you to fend for yourself. But what kind of life is this? This is not living! If you are feeling this way, I encourage you to contemplate Mary’s example for us. Since the world is imperfect, place your trust and hope in the only thing that is perfect… Ask your mother in heaven to obtain for you the graces she knows you need to live with generosity, charity, humility, and joy. Ask her to help you live today instead of waiting to live when everything becomes just right.
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed–and a sword will pierce even your own soul– to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. – Luke 2: 34-35