First Sorrow: Simeon’s Prophecy
"Thy own soul a sword shall pierce." Today we can unite our hearts torn by sorrows and tragedies with Mary’s sword-pierced heart. The hearts of those whose countries are war-torn, where brother fights against brother, are pierced with the sword of sorrow and anguish. Even within God’s family we see strife today – prejudice still burns churches from time to time.
Second Sorrow: The Flight into Egypt
Mary and Joseph fled into Egypt with Jesus, sorrowing that He, the Son of God,
was threatened and unwanted. Their sufferings are shared by the many refugees in today’s world, forced to leave their native land to wander the earth rejected and unwanted. Children and adults with AIDS are also being rejected from schools and work places where they had developed a sense of belonging.
Third Sorrow: Jesus Lost in the Temple
As Mary and Joseph suffered the loss of Jesus, so many people, young and old, are crushed by a loss of faith in God, consider life unbearable because it has no meaning, yearn to believe and cannot, and are tempted and sometimes do commit suicide.
Fourth Sorrow: Meeting with Jesus Carrying His Cross
As Mary’s heart bled with anguish at seeing her Son tortured and carrying His heavy Cross, many families throughout the world have crushed hearts at what is done to their children – the physical and spiritual deprivations of the slums, the dangers of gang warfare, the unjust arrests, the misery and horror of prison life – all these wring with anguish the hearts of mothers and fathers.
Fifth Sorrow: The Crucifixion
As Mary stood beneath the Cross and watched her Son suffer and die, her heart was united with his, and she prayed for all those who suffer more at the agony of loved ones that at their own – all who are powerless to relieve the sufferings and whose hearts are torn because of their helplessness, like parents whose children are kidnapped and murdered or who watch their adult children die each day, in a sense, because of addictions.
Sixth Sorrow: Jesus Taken Down from the Cross
As Mary sat at the foot of the Cross cradling her dead Son in her arms, her heart was united with people throughout the world who are devastated by the death of loved ones – especially the young who died suddenly of disease, accident, or violence, but also other loved ones whose death leaves a void in life.
Seventh Sorrow: Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher
As Mary watched her dead son Being placed in the sepulcher, the placing of the rock before the entrance was like the thrusting of another sword into her heart. Now his suffering was over, but her loneliness began. Mary’s heart was united to people deprived of loved ones who have to withstand an indescribable emptiness and live the long, bitter years of loneliness.