There were two options for the Opening Prayer for Mass last Thursday–something I hadn’t seen yet in the new missal. Our priest chose the second option, and I will be forever grateful. The prayer reads:
O God, who in this season give your Church the grace to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary in contemplating the passion of Christ, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that we may cling more firmly each day to your Only Begotten Son and come at last to the fullness of his grace. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
I was caught by the beginning: “to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary in contemplating the passion of Christ.” My whole prayer became one of asking Mary to help me walk through this Holy Week close to her, perceiving her Son with her eyes and loving Him with her heart. This, of course, can totally change one’s experience of the Passion. Wouldn’t Mary have walked in great faith though in great darkness? Wouldn’t she have strengthened her Son as much as she could? Would she not have stood at the Cross in adoration, willing that He would draw from her everything that could encourage Him in doing His Father’s will completely?
May we each learn greatly from her this week.