Imitate The 10 Amazing Virtues of the Blessed Mother as we approach Our Lady of Sorrows
We are asked to pattern our lives after that of Jesus Christ. When this seems daunting, it’s helpful to turn to the example of fellow human beings who imitated Him well: the saints. No one lived a life like Jesus better than His mother, the Mother of God. This Friday, we are invited to recall her Seven Sorrows. These sorrows and trials that pierced her heart also provide us an opportunity to grow closer to her. We can unite our struggles with her difficult journey as the Mother of God.
The Seven Sorrows of Mary (also known as the Seven Dolors) are:
- The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35)
- The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-21)
- The Loss of Jesus for Three Days (Luke 2:41-50)
- The Carrying of the Cross (Luke 23:27-30)
- The Crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:18-30)
- Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross (John 19:38-39)
- Jesus is Laid in the Tomb (John 19:40-42)
In the culture we live in, we are looking for role models that are worthy of “following their ways.” I can’t think of a greater example than Mary, who will humbly take us in her hands while we honor and pray to her. She declares in Luke 1 – “That all generations shall call me blessed.” Mary’s greatest blessing was to be the Mother of God, and through that calling to be our Mother as well. I think that now is the perfect time to come to know the joys of Mary and to also connect with her sorrows.
Faith doesn’t take away the crosses of our life but rather gives us the strength and grace to persevere and grow closer to Christ. When we are enduring these moments, we can pray to Mary for the grace of her virtues. In his classic work, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de
Montfort lists the “ten principal virtues of the most Holy Virgin Mary.” He shares that in Her Heart she suffered the Passion of Christ and Jesus provided the grace she needed to not perish from the suffering she encountered.
I recommend praying a decade of the Rosary and asking the Blessed Mother for each virtue listed below. Or choose to focus on just one at a time. Either way, take a closer look at Mary’s life and see these virtues come alive.
- Profound humility
- Lively faith
- Blind obedience
- Continual prayer
- Universal mortification
- Divine purity
- Ardent charity
- Heroic patience
- Angelic sweetness
- Divine wisdom
These virtues may seem overwhelming at first, but there are simple ways to practice them in everyday life with the help of God’s grace. Consider focusing on one virtue at a time. The key to any kind of lasting growth is to start small by taking “baby steps.”
A good idea is to pick one of Mary’s ten virtues and start to notice the role of that virtue in strengthening you in your life. Don’t forget to ask Mary to help. When we focus on her Sorrows we can see that these virtues shined as she endured various difficulties.
Mary the Mother of God desires to be with you, to assist you, to intercede for you. We pray to Mary as an intercessor to Jesus!
A Cheat Sheet on Going Deeper in Mary’s Virtues:
- Profound Humility
- Profound – Penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge.
- Humility – Free from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind.
- Lively Faith
- Full of life and alertness.
- Wholeheartedly submitted herself to God.
- Blind Obedience
- Blind — To fully trust in God’s plan for our lives even when we don’t understand it, knowing that He is Truth itself.
- Obedience — “As a virtue, it is pleasing to God because it means the sacrifice of one’s will out of love for God” (Catholic Dictionary). Obedience is faithfully carrying out the will of God.
- Continual prayer-
- The means by which a person always remains united with God. Also called the prayer of the heart, it need not be a conscious awareness of God’s presence.
- Universal Mortification
- Universal – All-encompassing, applicable everywhere.
- Mortification – Dying to yourself and your own will.
- Divine Purity
- Divine – Proceeding from God. Exceeding natural human ability.
- Purity- The state of being free from sin; oneness of heart and mind in seeking God. Everything in Mary was of God. Her mind and heart were pure. She lived her life with unity of purpose, seeking only to love and honor Him with her whole heart, mind, and soul (see Deuteronomy 6:5).
7. Ardent Charity
- Ardent – characterized by warmth of feeling or passion.
- Charity- “The infused supernatural virtue by which a person loves God above all things for His own sake, and loves others for God’s sake” (Catholic Dictionary). She showed us this charity by how she served and interacted with others.
8. Heroic Patience
- Heroic-“The performance of extraordinary virtuous actions with readiness and over a period of time.
- Patience – “To endure present evils without sadness or resentment in conformity with the will of God” (Catholic Dictionary).
9. Angelic Sweetness– Manifesting goodness, purity, and selflessness. Sweetness – a pleasing disposition that is lovable, kind, and gracious.
10. Divine Wisdom
- Divine – Proceeding from God. Wisdom: “The first and highest gifts of the Holy Spirit. It makes the soul responsive to God in the contemplation of divine things…
**This Friday you can also begin to pray a 54 day Rosary Marathon, or Novena to ask Mary to help the State of Ohio Defeat the Ohio Amendment that is on the ballet this November. Vote No.