>For any mom


drawing by Kate Kollwitz, 1903
Today is the day we remember Our Lady of Sorrows.
Oh, there is so much to this one…
As a mom, this resonates with me.  
Ok, maybe as an older mom it resonates.
As a mom of sons who’ve gone to college, who has just sobbed goodbye to them…
as a mom of kids who come from hard places and  have endured hardship and trauma…
as a mom who has held other mom’s babies and children across the world in dark hot smelly orphanages, waving flies off their face as I feel their damp bottoms but also their arms clinging to my neck, or see them lying limp in my arms just gazing out – disconnected…
as a mom of kids who have struggled with different needs, some of them very hard and/or intense…
as a mom of kids who’ve gone through life-threatening events and as a mom who has sat vigil bedside in the PICU….
gosh as a mom who has lain awake countless nights worrying over  her kids…
over things big or small….
As a friend to moms who have lost children…
as a friend to moms who’s kids have been in the PICU, or hospital too….
as a friend to moms who have had kids go through the hardest scariest time in their lives and/or those of their parents…
goodness, as a mom who WATCHES THE NEWS, for pity’s sake…
….this memorial is for us.  
Because this Blessed Mother, she is us.  
She is every mom.  
She is the mom giving  her portion of food for her hungry child.
She is the mom sitting bedside by her sick child.
She is the mom who weeps sending her child off, to work, to college, to a new life in a new country.
She is the mom who wishes she could hurt so her child doesn’t have to.
She is the mom who carries them, bodily, but also in mind and heart….all day, every day, all night, every night. 
She is the mama.
She is us.  
She gets it.  
And she helps us carry it all….all those things that no one but a mom can fathom, truly…well, she does.  
As I wept and wept a few weeks ago, worried over my son, him moving out and having to say goodbye to him in a new place that didn’t feel like home, at all, to him or to me…my other son said this: “Our Lady of Sorrows mom….the litany, it will help.”  I said, “She didn’t send her son to college!” (I know, I’m a selfish idiot)  He smiled and said “Yuh, she watched him be crucified.”  
So…with that, I give you this, it helped me then, and it is a reminder that she is not just the remote Mother of God.  
She is everywoman.  
Everymom.  Us.
 Litany of Our Lady Of Seven Sorrows 
By Pope Pius VII
Leader Response
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Mother of the Crucified, Pray for us.
Sorrowful Mother Pray for us.
Mournful Mother Pray for us.
Sighing Mother Pray for us.
Afflicted Mother Pray for us.
Foresaken Mother Pray for us.
Desolate Mother Pray for us.
Mother most sad Pray for us.
Mother set around with anguish Pray for us.
Mother overwhelmed by grief Pray for us.
Mother transfixed by a sword Pray for us.
Mother crucified in thy heart Pray for us.
Mother bereaved of thy Son Pray for us.
Sighing Dove Pray for us.
Mother of Dolors Pray for us.
Fount of tears Pray for us.
Sea of bitterness Pray for us.
Field of tribulation Pray for us.
Mass of suffering Pray for us.
Mirror of patience Pray for us.
Rock of constancy Pray for us.
Remedy in perplexity Pray for us.
Joy of the afflicted Pray for us.
Ark of the desolate Pray for us.
Refuge of the abandoned Pray for us.
Shield of the oppressed Pray for us.
Conqueror of the incredulous Pray for us.
Solace of the wretched Pray for us.
Medicine of the sick Pray for us.
Help of the faint Pray for us.
Strength of the weak Pray for us.
Protectress of those who fight Pray for us.
Haven of the shipwrecked Pray for us.
Calmer of tempests Pray for us.
Companion of the sorrowful Pray for us.
Retreat of those who groan Pray for us.
Terror of the treacherous Pray for us.
Standard-bearer of the Martyrs Pray for us.
Treasure of the Faithful Pray for us.
Light of Confessors Pray for us.
Pearl of Virgins Pray for us.
Comfort of Widows Pray for us.
Joy of all Saints Pray for us.
Queen of thy Servants Pray for us.
Holy Mary, who alone art unexampled Pray for us.
Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.

O God, in whose Passion,
According to the prophecy of Simeon,
A sword of grief pierced through
The most sweet soul
Of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary:
Grant that we, who celebrate
The memory of her Seven Sorrows,
May obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion,
Who lives and reigns world without end.

>Prayer: Memoriam: 9/11


painting by Deacon Bernard Deschler

It is, of course, the anniversary of 9/11. How do you remember such a horrific event? How do you honor the memory of those who died, who suffered, who suffer still? I don’t know, except you don’t forget and keep them, all, in your prayer. When I see the tributes, they make the tears stream. Of course I remember exactly where I was, where my family was, that whole morning and day is seared into my memory. It is a somber day. So, for me, there is prayer: one provides the best example, below. (h/t Whispers in the Loggia)
From our dear Pope Benedict XVI, servant of servants:

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths

and traditions,

who gather today at this site,

the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,

we seek your light and guidance

as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared

may live so that the lives lost here

may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

–Pope Benedict XVI
Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008