Mothers, You Are Not Alone 

Christina Baker // Genius of the Call


March 29  

By this point in Lent, I am usually very ready for Holy Week and Easter. I’m ready for the palms and the red vestments, the sorrow of Good Friday and the quiet of Holy Saturday, and the joy when the bells ring at the Easter Vigil.

Part of me is ready to leave the austerity of Lent and get to the festivities of Easter, but I’m also glad our Church spends a whole week preparing and mourning for the sorrow that came before the joy. It’s easy sometimes to focus on all the beautiful parts of Easter that are coming, or even on the goodness in the tragedy—Veronica wiping Jesus’s face or Simon of Cyrene helping to carry the cross. But the truth is, it’s ugly. It’s blood and bone and sweat and tears and pain and death—a gruesome death surrounded by hatred and misunderstanding.

This is the death into which we have been baptized; this is the death into which we baptize our children. As St. Paul says, We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life (Rom 6:4). We often receive goodness and beauty in this life, but those are not what we have been promised. We have been promised the cup of suffering and the cross. I’m also ready for Holy Week because it reminds me that, however much I may suffer, my God has suffered, too. And that means I am not alone.

Lent, and especially Holy Week, are an opportunity to acknowledge our suffering, take it out and look it in the face, and place it before Christ crucified, who has suffered for us and still suffers with us. It is a time to mourn all those whose suffering goes unnoticed and uncomforted except by God and his saints. It is a time to remember that our Blessed Mother also suffered misunderstanding; she also mourned a child and a spouse. Even in such deep suffering, we are not alone. Pain, and loss, and all manner of grief—our God, our Blessed Mother and so many saints before us have been through these same things and are nearby, encouraging us now.

So whatever is heavy on your heart this Lent, bring it to Christ on the cross. Bring it to Mary and John and Mary Magdalene weeping at his feet.

They understand. They have been there. You are not alone.

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