The Suffering of our Lady is often seen in pictures of her Immaculate Heart. There are swords which pierce it, and sometimes it drips with blood. You can see that in the picture above.
It is quite a disturbing picture. When we think of Our Lady then often we have very light images. Pictures of Our Lady of Lourdes, with the smiling Virgin, or images of her with her arms stretched to her children. All correct, of course, but we know also of the deep suffering that she endured. Hers was not a simple, easy life. It was one which was full of worry and care. What else would it be, when she saw her Son, who she knew was destined for great things, going step by step to His inevitable death.
When she ‘pondered these things in her heart’ it is not a series of happy thoughts and memories which she thought about and smiled, as if they were remembrances of holidays or parties. No. When she ‘pondered’ she thought through the consequences, trying to see what it all meant. And as she knew her Son better than anyone else, she saw to the heart of the matter, she saw that it would lead to the lonely road to Golgotha.
The suffering of the Virgin would have been spared her by her Son, but He, who made all things, could not stop the cares, worried and exquisite pain of His mother.
The Immaculate Heart is a sign of suffering in the world, and a sign of identification of our Lady with us. She suffered and was infinitely loved by Her Son, so we can bear our suffering too. And as she is our mother also, she suffers with us, with a mother’s care, devotion and love.