The Our Lady of Sorrows Mother Challenge, Accepted!

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September is observed as the month of Our Lady of Sorrows. On the feast day, September 15th, some Catholics partake in the devotion to the seven Sorrows of Mary by praying seven Hail Marys while meditating on each of her seven sorrows.

As revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden in the 14th century, by partaking in the meditation of the seven sorrows, our Blessed Mother promised:

“I will grant peace to their families.”

“They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.”

“I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”

“I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”

“I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”

“I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.”

“I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

“I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”

“I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”

“I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”

“I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.”

“I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

While this is a beautiful devotion and the graces are amazing, I would like to challenge Catholics to do something extra during this month. I haven’t seen it done (yet!) but I’d still like to propose it. Interested? Here’s my challenge:

During the month of September, pray for mothers who are struggling with their vocation. This can mean dedicating a decade of the Rosary for each of the following groups, offering up difficult situations, or simply helping out where you are able to. You can pick one specific group to pray for or group them all together. The whole point is to pray for them and ask Our Lady of Sorrows to intercede for them.

Here are the seven groups that you can choose from:

For mothers who’ve lost children

Whether it’s through a miscarriage, illness, or accident, the loss of a child is one of the worst things a mother can experience. If you know of someone who has experienced the loss of a child, you know firsthand just how difficult things are for them. This month pray for them and their lost child(ren).

For those who have difficult relationships with their mothers

If you have a difficult or toxic relationship with your mother that cannot be repaired, considering praying for her and offering up small, everyday sacrifices for her. It’s not always easy to do because of how tumultuous the relationship may be but, at the end of the day, she’s still your mother. Yes, mothers-in-law and stepmothers also count if you also have a difficult relationship with them as well.

For those who no longer have their mother around

The loss of a parent is always hard, but the loss of a mother is one of the hardest losses you can experience in life. If you no longer have your mother around, consider praying for her soul, visiting her grave (if you’re able to), or simply taking the time to thank God for the time you had with your mother. If you have friends who’ve lost their mothers, you can also pray for them. I’ve only lost my father, but the loss of a parent is something we never fully get over so any prayers we receive are welcomed.

For mothers whose children are going down difficult paths

You can ask both Our Lady of Sorrows and/or St. Monica for help on this one. Sometimes, no matter how great a mom and no matter how much love was received, some children stray off the right path for several reasons that are not a reflection on the mother. Whether you’re in this boat or know of someone who is, don’t only pray for them but offer them words of affirmation. Pray for them, who hurt seeing their children in difficult paths, and for their children to abandon whatever is causing them to stray.

For mothers who have children with chronic illnesses and special needs

Sadly, the number of people (especially children) with chronic illnesses and special needs seems to be increasing. Whether it’s because the stigmas are slowly dying and more people are speaking out or because of other factors, there is no shortage of mothers whose children need special care. If you can do something to help, don’t be afraid to do so. Sometimes it’s as simple as picking up their other kids from school if their schedules conflict with an appointment. Whatever you can do, do it with love.

For those who wish they could be mothers

They may not be mothers yet, but the longing is a heavy cross to carry, especially if they’ve tried almost everything that is morally permitted. Spiritual motherhood is wonderful but sometimes the desire for a child of their own grows stronger and it can make life difficult. I’ve seen friends who’ve struggled to conceive ache when friends announce their pregnancies and/or births. Pray for them to receive peace and consolation in their hearts while they discern what to do next or for that adoption to go through (if they choose that route).

For those who struggle with postpartum depression

This may be the last group on the list but it’s definitely not the least important. While I’ve yet to know the joys (and hardships) of pregnancy and/or motherhood, I’ve seen PPD do a number on friends. If it’s difficult to watch from the outside, I cannot imagine what it must be like to experience it. If you’re suffering from this, please don’t hesitate to seek help. If you have a friend going through this, figure out what you can do to support them. Sometimes this support can look like listening to them without judgment or even helping with something they aren’t able to do themselves on a hard day.

Where would we be without mothers or our Blessed Mother? Society would be more chaotic, that’s for sure. So, why not take this 7 Our Lady of Sorrows Mothers Challenge and help strengthen those called to motherhood during their times of trial? If we can help them in any little way we can, we’ll all be better off.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

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