Sunday, 15 September 2013

Our Lady of Sorrows

"Our Lady of the Rosary", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows which the Church would normally be celebrating on the 15th of September.  However, since Sunday takes precedence over almost all the feasts other than Solemnities, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is not being celebrated in the Divine Office and the Liturgy today.

Also, the drawing I am featuring is not one of Our Lady of Sorrows, but rather a drawing of Our Lady of the Rosary.  It is a recent drawing and I felt that it was quite suitable for this feast as we often use the Rosary to pray the Sorrowful mysteries.  (As many of you know, the Sorrowful mysteries are my "favourite" mysteries.)  
I am also very fond of the feast day celebrated on the 14th of September:  the Exaltation of the Cross.  These two feasts sit side by side just as they should since on the 14th we remember the cross which caused our Lord and His Blessed Mother so much suffering and the following day we commemorate that suffering of Our Lady.

So, I am remembering today's feast through this blog posting. Following are some things I would like to share with you.  The first is some information about this feast and exactly what we are remembering today.
"The principal biblical references to Mary's sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27.  The Lucan passage is Simeon's prediction about a sword piercing Mary's soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus' words to Mary and to the beloved disciple.  Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary's sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross.  Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.
St. Ambrose in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross.  Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled.  Mary looked on her Son's wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world.  As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed but offered herself to her persecutors.
St. John's account of Jesus' death is highly symbolic.  When Jesus gives the beloved disciple to Mary [as He is dying on the cross], we are invited to appreciate Mary's role in the Church:  She symbolizes the Church; the beloved disciple represents all believers.  As Mary mothered Jesus, she is now mother to all his followers.  Furthermore, as Jesus died, he handed over his Spirit.  Mary and the Spirit cooperate in begetting new children of God — almost an echo of Luke's account of Jesus' conception.  Christians can trust that they will continue to experience the caring presence of Mary as she [constantly presents their needs and petitions to her Divine Son] throughout their lives and throughout history."
quoted from http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1139

One of the icons associated with this feast is one that I attempted to draw several years ago now.  Here is my version of this particular icon:


"Mater Dolorosa", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer,  2009

 Any of you who have been following my "drawing" of icons over the years can, when looking at this icon from 2009, easily appreciate the improvements in technique which I have learned during these past years in my attempts to use a computer screen as my canvas and a mouse as my pen and brush.

Finally, I would like to share with you a traditional prayer that is associated with this feast day:

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows 
O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! 
You who stood motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of your expiring Son— 
Through the unceasing sufferings of your life on earth and the bliss which now more than amply repays you for your past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on us, who kneel before you to venerate your sorrows. 
Place our requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of your wounded heart. 
Present them, we beg you, on our behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. 
Through the united efficacy of both obtain the granting of our present petitions. 
To whom shall we resort in our needs and petitions if not to you, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of your Son, can understand the woes of those who are still sighing in this land of exile? Offer for us to our Saviour one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. 
O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject our humble petitions, but graciously obtain the granting of them according to the will of your Divine Son.  Amen.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.


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BRADEN TAKES A VACATION


Braden and his parents and grandparents recently made a trip to the ocean.  It was Braden's first experience with sand and surf and according to his mother, he loved it! 

Here is a photograph showing the young man playing contentedly in the sand.  

Braden at the beach!



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SUKI AND SALLIE

This the result of a cat personality test I took on Suki's behalf.
According to these folks, Suki is a DIVA!  Who would have ever imagined!!



Suki being philosophical!
I came across what appeared to be a Chinese-style pen and ink drawing of a light-coloured cat sitting while the caption read: "Life is hard, soften yours with a cat."

I liked it and decided to do a similar drawing on the computer, drawing a cat which could easily represent Suki.  I also changed the words around to better satisfy what I wanted to say about life in general and about living with a cat. 

Although, sometimes, living with a cat does not make life easier, but it is always an adventure!  

Recently, when Suki finds that she can't get me to stop whatever I am doing and feed her or play with her,  she seems to feel that the only solution is to pester me until I give in to her demands.  Since she is truly a Diva, as the personality test reveals, she gets all dramatic about things.  

For example, one method of getting my attention is to talk to me!  I am not kidding.  She has developed a particular sound that she uses at times such as this and it actually sounds like the word "now"!  I don't know how she came up with this, but as you can imagine, when I am trying to concentrate on drawing, writing emails, listening to a good book or just watching a show on TV -- to have a cat repeating a noise that sounds like the word "now" over and over again can be quite distracting!

Usually, that is sufficient to get me to get up and get the laser light (she is so determined to catch that little red dot) or reach for the food dish.  However, if I should manage to remain seated during her performance, she will then try jumping into my lap.  If I have something else in my lap or in my hands at the time, having a large cat suddenly leap into the middle of whatever it is can be very disconcerting to say the least.  You might think that this behaviour would make me angry; however, it usually makes me laugh.  She is trying so hard to find a place to perch while I am frantically trying to rescue whatever it is that is already in my lap!  It must look like some kind of slap-stick comedy at times.

So, as I said previously, life with Suki is not always easy, but it is an adventure that I enjoy -- often in spite of myself.  I came across a photo recently that really speaks to me.  I saved the photo and wrote something under it that I feel really sums up this whole business of sharing our lives with animals -- particularly cats and dogs.  


      As for me, I am doing much better than I was this time a month ago.  I still have a lot more problems with sleep, discomfort and pain than I would like; however, I am at least able to work on my drawing again and to publish this blog once a week.

I have a number of appointments with doctors coming up in the next 3 weeks and I am hoping that something good will come out of it all.  The specialists are currently helping me to bring the more serious sleep attacks under control although there is still a long way to go before I can hope to be free of them entirely.  I am still feeling positive about the possibility of controlling them with the current medication once I am able to increase the dosage.

Thankfully the restless leg problems have decreased considerably now that I am using several of the more natural methods of treatment.  And, I am gradually getting used to using the neck brace each day as I continue to do more exercises for strengthening the neck muscles.  So, thanks be to God, I am doing better at the moment.

I had better stop this before it gets to be much too long.  Hopefully, there will be something here of interest to most of my readers.  

May God bless you each and every one and may the peace of God be with you.                     

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