I often say that I feel “lost”. Sometimes, I feel abandoned. I don’t disagree with much of what Francis says, although he often doesn’t say it well. Still, I have this sense of abandonment that pervades me when I listen to some of the Cardinals, Bishops and, sometimes Francis. I don’t recognize God or the Holy Spirit in some of it. This is not a good thing. I often feel alone in this abandonment.
In contemplating the seven sorrows, I am reminded that the Blessed Mother must have felt similar only more intense feelings. She has had an encounter with God and then spends her life encountering a lot of evil. She had God with her much of her life but her pain and sorrow must have been intense. In particular, when Jesus was arrested, abused and crucified, she must have felt very alone, very pained, and maybe gave in to the feelings I cannot describe other than with words like abandoned, alone, lonely. She did not cave. She helped the early Christian community.
I often feel like caving in. I think I do cave in. At least, I don’t act. I don’t know how or what to do. Prayer has always been my main action and my main hope. I believe in prayer. I believe in God. I believe he hears us. I believe his “will” will be “done. I must have the faith of Simeon. He longed for the Lord. We see him as a cause of Mary’s suffering, but perhaps, we should see him as a man like us- who longs for the truth and who has hope! The New Testament narrative says:
“When the days were completed for their purification* according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,* and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Simeon is a source of pain for Mary but a source of hope and peace for us. His faith is strong, he is rewarded and he understands. Someday, I may understand. Someday, I might witness with the steadfastness of Anna.
Mary, Most Holy, pray for us.