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After Via Dolorosa there’s Mary’s Vita Dolorosa – Mary spouse of the Holy Spirit

A likely start to Mary’s Vita Dolorosa is when the angel Gabriel appeared and told her that she does not have to be afraid because she has found favor  with God

Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult.let Angel ministers of God exult. Let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph.
Be glad,let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all the corners of the earth be glad,knowing an end to gloom and darkness.

Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of his glory, let this holy building shake with joy, filled with the mighty voices of the people – Easter Vigil. Easter Proclamation as the congregation enter the church from darkness into light.

As Jesus triumphantly, navigated the Via Dolorosa, defeating death and raising again, it is fitting to recall His Mother’s Vita Dolorosa. Where Vita Dolorosa -is a glorious, perfectly joyful (as described by St. Francis of Assis) painfully difficult journey.

Mary’s earthly life is encapsulated in the Blessed Rosary – summary follows:

At the beginning

Scripture tells us that through the disobedience of Adam sin enters the world. Rom. 5:12. The Father sends His Son to save the world. Jn. 3:17. The Angel Gabriel is sent to a virgin named Mary. Lk. 1:26,27. The Angel tells Mary: “You are to have a Son and will name Him Jesus.” Lk. 1:31. He is the Son of God. Lk. 1:32. Mary consents: “Let it be done to me.” Lk. 1:38.

Mary, while pregnant,

visits her elderly cousin Elizabeth. Lk. 1:40. Elizabeth is with child. His name is John. Lk. 1:13.She greets Mary: “Blessed are you because you believed.” Lk. 1:45. Mary herself is with Child, through the Holy Spirit. Mt. 1:18. She answers: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Lk. 1:46. “His mercy reaches from age to age.” Lk. 1:50.Mary, the Mother of God, stays to help Elizabeth. Lk. 1:56. After three months Mary returns to her home in Nazareth. Lk. 1:56

Birth of Jesus; 

When Jesus is born in Bethlehem.  There will be born He Who is to rule my people. Micah 5:2. Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth to register in Bethlehem. Lk. 2:4. There, Mary gives birth to the Son of God. Lk. 2:7. Mary lays Him in a manger, because there is no room for Him in the inn. Lk. 2:7.Angels announce to shepherds nearby: “The Savior is born.” Lk. 2:10,11. Angels sing: “Peace to men of good will.” Lk. 2:14. Wise men come from the East in search of Christ. Mt. 2:1,2. Entering the house in Bethlehem, they worship Him. Mt. 2:11. All nations serve Him. Ps. 72:11. Those who accept Christ become children of God. Jn. 1:12. God the Son becomes Man, in obedience to His Father. Lk. 1:35. By His obedience many shall be saved. Rom. 5:19. Mary becomes Mother of God, Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Lk. 1:35. Nothing is impossible with God. Lk. 1:37.

Presentaton of Jesus

When the Child Jesus is eight days old, He is circumcised. Lk. 2:2. And his parents name Him Jesus. Lk. 2:21.The name of Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved. Acts 4:12. “Ask the Father anything in My Name. He will give it to you.” Jn. 16:23. Lord, You are good and forgiving to all who call upon Your Name. Ps. 86:5. Joseph and Mary take Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to God. Lk. 2:22.Simeon, a holy man, foretells: “This Child is destined for the fall and rise of many.” Lk. 2:34. “Your own soul a sword shall pierce.” Lk. 2:35.Joseph and Mary take Jesus to their hometown of Nazareth. Lk. 2:39. Whatever you do, do all in the Name of Jesus. Col. 3:17. 

Jesus is “lost”

When Jesus is twelve years old, and goes to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph. Lk. 2:42. Jesus remains in Jerusalem. His parents do not realize it. Lk. 2:43.Mary and Joseph return looking for Him. Lk. 2:45. They find Jesus in the temple. Lk. 2:46. Jesus was fulfilling the will of His Father. Lk. 2:49. The Holy Family returns to Nazareth. Lk. 2:51. Jesus, the Son of God, obeys His parents. Lk. 2:51. God tells us: Honor your father and your mother. Mt. 15:4. If you love Me, obey My commandments. Jn. 14:15.Let us love in thought, in word, and in action. 1 Jn. 3:18.

The Marriage in Cana

Mary at the marriage in Cana in Galilee. Jn. 2:1.The wine runs out. Mary intercedes. Jn. 2:3. Jesus replies that His hour has not yet come. Jn. 2:4. Mary tells the servants to do whatever He asks. Jn. 2:5. Jesus asks the jars of water be filled. Jn. 2:6. The steward marvels that the best wine has been served last. Jn. 2:10. This was the first of His signs, prompted by his mother Mary. Jn. 2:11

During Jesus’ Passion, 

Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Lk. 23:33, He prays: “Father, forgive them…” Lk. 23:34. Jesus says to the repentant thief: “This day you will be with Me in paradise.” Lk. 23:43. Looking down at Mary His Mother, He says: “Woman, there is your son.” Jn. 19:26. Looking at the beloved disciple, He says: “There is your Mother.” Jn. 19:27. Jesus endures the terrible torture of the Cross for three hours. Mt. 27:45. Nature itself seemed in mourning, for darkness covered the earth. Mt. 27:45.

Mary at Pentecost. 

Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles that the Mother of Jesus was in the upper room with fearful apostles awaiting the outpouring of the Pentecostal Spirit. The Apostles and Mary were together in prayer. Acts 2:1. A sound from heaven filled the whole house. Acts 2:2. Suddenly tongues of fire rested on each of them. Acts 2:3. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4. Men of every nation understood them in their own language. Acts 2:6

At Mary’s Uncorrupted Death; 

“You will not suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.” Ps. 16:10. “You are the glory of Jerusalem. You are the splendid boast of our people.” Jud. 15:9. “Arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come.” S. of S. 2:10. “You are all-beautiful… and there is no blemish in you.” S. of S. 4:7. “The Queen takes her place at Your right hand.” Ps. 45: 10. “Blessed are you, daughter… above all women on earth.” Jud. 13:18. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Lk. 1:28. If we are likened to Christ in His death, so shall we be in His resurrection. Rom. 6:5. “I shall return to take you with Me.” Jn. 14:3. “God’s temple in heaven opened, and there was seen the ark of His covenant.” Apoc. 11:19.

And at Mary’s Coronation: 

 “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun.” Apoc. 12:1. “The moon was under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Apoc. 12:1. “In the highest heavens did I dwell, my throne on a pillar of cloud” Sir. 24:4. “I am the mother of pure love” Sir. 24:24. “I am the mother of knowledge.” Sir. 24:24. “I am the mother of hope.” Sir. 24:24. Mary is Queen Mother of Him who “shall reign in the house of Jacob forever.” Lk. 1:32.

Traditionally, the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother are:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2;
  2. The Flight into Egypt in Matthew 2;
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, also in Luke 2;
  4. Mary meeting Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the Fourth station of the Cross which is not found in the Bible;
  5. The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary in Matthew 27Mark 15Luke 23, and especially John 19;
  6. Jesus’s Descent from the Cross in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19;
  7. The Burial of Jesus by Joseph of Arimathea also in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19;

But a  likely start to Mary’s Vita Dolorosa is when the angel Gabriel appeared and told her that she does not have to be afraid because she has found favor  with God:  “And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

Mary’s Vita Dolorosa

At the time of her betrothal to Joseph, Mary was just a child.  Not more than 17 years old during her pregnancy. How can a child process this information and not need therapy? 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 50% of documented teenage  (ages 13 – 19) pregnancies end with termination, and suggests pregnant teens should ask some of these questions: What sort of support network do I have around me? How does having a baby as a teenager affect my economic future?

What choices do I have when I’m a teenager & pregnant:? abortion, adoption,  parenting.  How will this affect my relationships as a teenager? What questions go through Mary’s mind? Isn’t there a Planned Parenthood? What does it mean to be the mother of God? But just like Father Abraham, she just has faith and obeys:

“Mary consents: “Let it be done to me.”

Lk. 1:38

The Gospel of Luke starts with Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Galilee. They journey to Bethlehem in response to a census that the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus required for all the Jewish people. Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, Bethlehem was the hometown where he was required to register.

According to the Bible, they travelled far  then they searched all over Bethlehem To find a room for the night where they could stay. No room for Mary; Nowhere at all. While the fact there was no room at the inn was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isaiah 53, which says that the Messiah would be “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering ” it was just another marker in Mary’s Vita Dolorosa. What is in Mary’s mind?  But I thought I was the mother of God.  What happened?

According to Burn’s Pediatric Primary Care, newborns should stay in a room with an ambient room temperature between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius or 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Does Mary know that? What other questions might Mary have?
If baby Jesus has hiccups, how do you stop it?  What happens if my newborn doesn’t burp? Why is my newborn sneezing a lot? Why is my newborn stomach gurgling?

At Jesus’ presentation, does Mary know what Simeon says or does she simply dismisses him:? “This Child is destined for the fall and rise of many.” Lk. 2:34. “Your own soul a sword shall pierce.” Lk. 2:35

Then Mary loses the child Jesus. What goes through her mind?  Is there a blame game where she blames Joseph and Joseph blames Mary?  Are they insulted when Jesus says he was about His Father’s business?

By  the marriage in Cana in Galilee, it appears Mary has sn idea of what the Son of the Holy Spirit is capable of: while  wine runs out. Mary intercedes and asks Jesus to perform a miracle.  How? Only he knows. Jn 2:3.

Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

Lk. 23:33. 

Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society

If we are all wired to have Empathy, as Rufkin claims, How is she impacted by the Passion of her son? According to the Nationalibrary of Medicine when parents experience the murder of a son “Extreme feelings of vulnerability, anxiety, panic, and hyper-vigilance can also accompany the sadness and despair. Grieving parents evidence anger as part of the normal reaction to the loss of their child. This may be expressed as intense rage or as chronic irritation and frustration.” Mary’s reaction is everything but human.  Now she knows she is the mother of God!

But A Mother’s Job is Never Done 

Mother Mary continues to bring people from the farthest corner of the world to her son. and bring her son to the world

When Marian apparitions occur, Mary addresses those who see her in their native language, and often promulgates a particular image of herself that incorporates elements of the local culture, as in St. Paul Letter to the Corinthians “To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.” 1 Corinth 9. This is a way that Mary reminds people of both the universality and particularity of the faith: relationship with God is available to all people across all cultures, but God also desires a personal relationship with each individual who seeks him. Marian apparitions often serve as a way for particular countries to solidify an identity that is both faithfully Catholic and distinctive of the local culture and customs. Instead of relying on a faith that is often imported and can therefore seem culturally alien, apparitions allow diverse populations to celebrate an expression of the faith that resonates with their own cultural context. They point to the diversity of the Church, whilst also drawing people towards the elements of the faith that unify Catholics across all cultures.

Mary Spouse of the Holy Spirit and her Vita Dolorosa 

In the April/May issue of Northwest Catholic. Seattle’s Archbishop Paul D. Ettiene in preparation for the Month of May, dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary, He calls to our attention a lesser-known titles not found in the Holy Rosary: Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Now as always, we seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and there’s no better intercessor for this great gift than our Blessed Mother Mary, the espouse of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus  Christ took on our human flesh, through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Mary’s humility and obedient faith to God, she conceived the Son of God, when the Holy Spirit came upon her and the Power of the Most High overshadowed her (Luke 1:35.) As Blessed Concepcion Cabrera de Armida wrote in Priests of Christ:  “Without Mary, there would be no Redemption. No Church, no Eucharist, no salvation of the human race. “

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mary, as the mother if Jesus, served him his entire life, selflessly, humbly, lovingly and faithfully.  Because she knew, he was the Son of God, she gave her entire life to him supporting him through every step of his life, his ministry, passion and death.

Upon the Cross, before His death, Jesus entrusted his mother to St. John, while at the same time, giving John to Mary. He did this so Mary would be present to the Church, not just in those early days after the resurrection,, but always.
At Calvary, Mary was united with the suffering of her son. The grace of that moment, as Christ was establishing the Church, come forth from Jesus’ open side and flow always from the Holy Spirit, through the heart of Mary.

Then, at Pentecost – when the Risen Lord gave the promised Holy Spirit to the apostles, telling them to go to the ends of the earth preaching the Gospel and giving witness to his resurrection- Mary was there.

By the working of the Holy Spirit, Mary gave her son to the world, and now we who have been incorporated into the life of the Risen Jesus through baptism, are sent forth with the same mission: to bring Christ to others and bring others to Christ. This is always the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, and there’s no better intercessor for this work to succeed than Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Through Mary’s intercession, we beg the Holy Spirit, to flood the Church in  these days, freeing hearts for greater intimacy with Christ, conquering the indifference that holds so many back from actively living their faith.

Mary, spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.

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