The nature of Mary's Compassion (part III)

From the Compassion of Mary being contemporaneous with the Passion, and indeed an integral part of it, there flowed into it the character of sacrifice and expiation which belonged to the Passion, and this in a degree and after a kind which does not belong to the sorrows of the Saints. As the Passion was the sacrifice which Christ made upon the Cross, so the Compassion was the sacrifice of Mary beneath the Cross. It was her offering to the Eternal Father. It was an offering made by a sinless creature for the sins of her fellow-creatures. Their gain was her loss. The lightening of their hearts was the burdening of hers. Her darkness was their light. Their peace was her agony. Her Son was their victim. Their life was her tremendous martyrdom. Her offering rose to heaven together with the offering of Jesus. They were as two grains of incense on the burning coals of one thurible. With various fragrance they rose up to the throne in the same thin circles of blue smoke, perceptibly different, yet utterly inseparable.

When the sound of the scourging went up to Heaven, the smothered sighs of Mary's bursting heart went up with it. When the "Barabbas" of the multitude rang fiercely in the hollow vaulted sky, the agony of Mary went floating up, sweet music mid the fierce clamor, to the Father's ear. With the dull knockings of the hammer, the beatings of her heart went up and lay down at the foot of the throne, and did not pass unheeded. Her voiceless aspirations flew upward in equal flight with the seven words which Jesus uttered on the Cross. His loud cry at the end was heard twice in Heaven, the second time as it echoed thither out of Mary's heart.

Thus, during those hours of the Passion, each oblation was a double one; the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. They kept pace together; they were made of the same materials; they were perfumed with kindred fragrance; they were lighted with the same fire; they were offered with kindred dispositions. Thus there is a sacrificial and expiatory character in Mary's Compassion which is peculiar to itself.

The world was redeemed by the Passion of our Lord. But there never was, in the ordinance of God, such a thing as a Passion of Jesus disjoined from the Compassion of Mary. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly-crowded mysteries of that dread time, unto the Eternal Father, out of two sinless Hearts, that were the Hearts of Son and Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but according to their own free will. Never was any sanctified sorrow of creatures so confused and commingled with the world-redeeming sorrow of Jesus as was the Compassion of His Mother.

Taken from book by Father Frederick William Faber “At the foot of the Cross”

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