Mary: The First Sorrow 2017


“The First Sorrow” Charcoal drawing by: Ronald Raab, CSC

Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, is the Patroness of the Congregation of Holy Cross. As we prepare for the memorial on September 15, I will offer a new image and a short reflection based on each of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. 

Luke 2:  Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted. (and you yourself a sword will pierce)* so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. ”


The First Sword

Sheltering his toddler between his tattooed arms,

The new father presented me his son from the blue chair.


The body builder stumbled over words that named male abuse,

Greg storied his wounds leaving them in the lap of Mary.


Silence between the words spoke paragraphs of pain,

As he vowed to let Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, ponder his wounds.


Tears became a line in the sand of generational abuse,

The father welcomed the Holy Mother to teach and heal him.


He lifted up his little guy once again,

The tender child sleeps fearlessly in his father’s colorful embrace.



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