Triumph and Sorrow

Earlier this week (September 14th and 15th) the Church celebrated two feasts which I had written about before in these two posts: Triumph of the Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows.

I think it is intentional that these 2 feasts are linked by being placed a day apart.

The triumph of Jesus on the Cross was His death. Death is usually a defeat but His liberated us from the prison that was ours. He opened the gates of Heaven for us. Heaven is now attainable, whereas previously it was prohibited to us by the Original Sin of Adam. ( Genesis 3) The Sorrows of Mary were many but in tying these dates together, the Church is perhaps emphasizing Jesus’ suffering, death and burial and how they must have ripped apart the heart of Mary as she witnessed them.

Both Jesus and Mary are marked in their obedience to God the Father’s will. Jesus accepted that His role and mission was to suffer and die for our sins. Mary accepted hers as being the bearer of the Messiah, the Savior of Humanity. Her willing submission to God’s will linked her life to that of Jesus.

So it can be said of us. If we accept that our duty as Christians is to submit ourselves to God’s will in our lives, looking to the Church for guidance, then we open ourselves to the sufferings and sorrows about us. In accepting God’s will for us, it is necessary for us to “die to ourselves” so that the inspirations and beckoning of the Holy Spirit can be felt. We decrease, so it can increase. In so dying, we are reborn into the person God intended for us to be and therefore are able to fulfill His plan for our lives. The sufferings and sorrows we feel are our compassion for others.

As addicts and alcoholics, we are especially attuned to this. Our old selves died when we gave up drinking and using. Our truer selves were resurrected from the Cross we nailed our addictions to. And in our new lives we see others about us differently. We see others and broken and wounded souls, as we are also. Our hearts are pierced by the swords of their pain and suffering. ( Luke 2: 34-35)

As Jesus on the Cross gave Mary to each of us to be our Mother, we, in our recovery, are given to others to nurture and sustain them. (John 19: 25-27)

(All Scriptural links courtesy USCCB.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"