"And thy own soul a sword shall pierce"( Luke II : 35)
"We see here how God mixes bitter things with sweet. Our Lady had heard Simeon in praise if her Son while he recounted the blessings He was to give.What joy this was to her! But now she heard of a sword that would pierce not her body, but her soul. As a Mother, and as a most loving Mother of such a Son, she would feel as none other the injuries He was to suffer, for injury to a loved one is a torment to one who loves..........

II Let us think why God desired Our Blessed Lady to be impressed by the prophecy of this sword of sorrow even while Christ was in His Infancy. Perhaps it was that He willed that thus she would become more like Christ herself, that just as He from His Infancy always had His Passion before His eyes, so would she likewise always anticipate what was to come......

III The prophecy was fulfilled at the moment it was spoken, but more especially at the time of Christ's Passion. Let us review in our minds the torments that Christ endured, and see Our Lady standing before the Cross. Let us think of the Mother's anguish at seeing what was done to such a Son......."

Extracts from THE LIFE AND TEACHING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST By Fr Nicola Avancini S.J.( 1612 - 1686)

Avancini, in his further comments on these thoughts, urges his readers to consider how well we bear sufferings for Jesus' sake, using this as a measure of our love for God. He then urges the reader to become more like Christ by accepting a life of Cross bearing and mortification - thus virtue increases and we become ever more Christ like.To do so we must embrace the Cross with all our heart and soul. He concludes the section by reminding the reader that it is our sins for which Christ suffered , and therefore, effectively it is we who have driven the sword of sorrow into Our Mother's heart. He bids the reader to make acts of sorrow and to fear the anger of God.

These Meditations apply to every one of us. They were written originally for those in Religious life. It is a measure of the state we are in that too many not so religious Religious to-day would find them quite alien and seek to justify their position with NewChurchspeak which is totally emptied of Christ .


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