POOR MARY, THE DARK CIRCLES BENEATH HER EYES suggest sleeplessness. She holds her left hand to her temple. Perhaps she has a headache - considering the separation of her Son in the sadness of his bitter rejection. But she contemplates our sorrows too, and the Holy Child seems suspended, as if hovering in love over the world's grief.
On a Saturday morning,
phoned my mother
that I had failed arithmetic and
would need to go to summer school
to be promoted to seventh grade.
And I listened from the dining room
to the scary news and ran
from the house
in the locked car.
And my mother came after me,
and coaxed me out,
and took me to her room
where we sat on her bed.
And I liquefied, crying,
"I can't do anything right."
And she put her arms around me and
said, "That's not true, Stephen,
no one can grow tomatoes like you do."
What a stretch!
indeed a voice,
that tiny annunciation,
for a moment at least
putting me back together -
soothing my sorrows.
Have you seen the news about the little four year old boy who got up on the platform where Pope Francis was giving a talk? And the four-year-old stood in front of the pope and waved to the tens of thousands. And he hugged the pope's legs and sat on his chair. And the pope welcomed him and blessed him. And the boy's mother said that the little guy had been adopted from Colombia a year ago and she believed the pope's blessing was for all the abandoned children of the world. How gracious and spiritually awake is that!
Troparion Before the Icon of the Mother of God ~ Assuage My Sorrows
Sooth the pains of my much-sighing soul,
O Thou who hast wiped away every tear flowing
from the face of the earth:
for Thou dost drive away the sickness of humanity;
and quench the afflictions of the sinner.
We have obtained hope and support in Thee,
O Most Holy Virgin.