Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC
By frequent meditation on the mystery of the cross and its meaning in our lives, we unite ourselves in a special way with Christ in his passion and with Mary his mother, who stood by the cross. We meditate on her role in the Christian mysteries. The rosary, dolors, other Marian devotions and the celebration of her feasts are ways we express our love of her.
The devotion of the Chaplet of the Seven Dolors was instituted in the 13th century. It consists of a series of meditative prayers practiced upon a chaplet made up of seven times seven beads, with three additional beads and a crucifix. Each section of seven beads represents the seven principal sorrows of Mary's life. After each meditation seven Hail Mary Prayers are recited. On the 3 additional beads is prayed the "Hail Mary..." in remembrance of the tears of Mary that were shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son.
The following is a prayer composed by Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC right after the 9-11 attacks and is modeled on the Chaplet. It was issued on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15th as a way to join in solidarity with the victims of the great tragedy and its aftermath.
Chaplet of Seven Dolors
Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle your love and compassion.
V. Send forth your Spirit
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
V. Remember, O God, your people.
R. We look to you for justice and peace.
V. O Lord, hear our prayer.
R. And let our cries come to you.
Let us pray:
Illumine our minds, we ask you, God, with the light of your wisdom, that we may discern the means and find the strength to be your compassion in the world.
Prophecy of Simeon
"And you yourself shall be pierced with a sword--so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:35)
Reflection: Words of love and goodbye from mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends. Waking to the news of death and destruction with too many words, too many pictures, too many rapid judgments. Suddenly: no words, no news, no sounds -- just terror in our hearts.
The Flight into Egypt
"Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt." (Matthew 2:13)
Reflection: Concerns for national security and personal safety mark every journey. Then candlelight vigils begin and guide us to pray in churches, temples and mosques. God's comfort incarnate in our embraces.
Jesus Left in the Temple
"Why did you search for me? Did you not know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49)
Reflection: Searching for survivors, searching for evidence to focus blame -- dare we search for understanding, justice and peace?
Meeting Jesus Bearing His Cross
". . . the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all. . ." (Isaiah 53:6) [and] " Christ suffered for sins once . . .that he might lead you to God" (1 Peter 3: 18)
Reflection: Walking with those who struggle for life, walking with those who suffer loss, walking with rescuers, walking in solidarity to heal the divisions and end the hate.
Crucifixion of Jesus
"Near the cross of Jesus there stood his Mother." (John 19:25)
Reflection: Standing at the foot of the cross, facing death and destruction--O Compassionate Mother, clear our minds of revenge, violence and war.
Mary Receives Jesus Dead in Her Arms
"Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering." (Lamentations 1:12)
Reflection: Families who are victims of war fleeing their homeland in fear---but steadfast in their trust of God.
Burial of Jesus
"If we have died with him we shall live with him." (2 Timothy 2:11)
Reflection: Removing hatred from my heart -- removes anger from my home -- removes prejudice from my street -- removes terror from the earth.
Closing Prayer: Peace Prayer
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow your love.
Where there is injury your pardon, Lord, and where there's doubt true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is despair in life let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light, and where there's sadness ever joy.
O Master, grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned--in giving that we receive, and in dying that we're born to eternal life.