Our Lady of Solitude, Our Lady of Hope, Pray for us!

Today we are celebrating the Patronal Feast Day of our Monastery.  On Holy Saturday, Our Lady awaited in silence, solitude, and hope, the blessed Resurrection of her Son.  The image above is a statue of Our Lady of Solitude found in our cloistered Adoration Chapel.  Here we see Mary pondering in her heart – at once sorrowful and full of hope.

This Holy Saturday, let us unite our hearts to Our Lady of Solitude – asking her to intercede for our world that is so in need of hope.  She waited in faith for the Resurrection – for she knew that her Son would be faithful to His promise.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” (Jn 11:25)

“The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and He will be raised on the third day.” (Mt 17:22-23)

Holy Saturday was not the first time that Our Lady pondered the mysteries of God.  No doubt, this contemplative pondering was a part of her daily life.  Mary knew how to sit in silence with a listening ear, in the darkness of faith with the light of hope burning brightly, and in blessed solitude with the assurance of the Lord’s steadfast nearness.

This Holy Saturday, like Our Lady, most of the world is in their homes, awaiting the Resurrection.  A darkness has settled over the world.  Like Mary, through this pandemic, many have seen loved ones suffer and die, watching from a distance as they underwent this unexpected Via Crucis.  With Mary, now they are walking through a valley of surreal grief.

For others, like Our Lady too, they are deprived of the Lord’s Presence – in this case, though, it is the deprivation of His Eucharistic Presence.  They find growing within them a longing for Holy Mass and Communion, Eucharistic Adoration, and fellowship.  Let us ask the Lord to make of this holy yearning a purifying flame of love within us, that it might burn away any dross of tepidity or ingratitude.  Our Lady did not simply  grit her teeth and white knuckle her way through Holy Saturday.  Rather, with trust and humble receptivity (and in the midst of an unimaginable grief), she waited and drank deeply from life-giving springs of hope.  She is inviting all of us, this day, to drink from this font as well.

Our Lady, too, as Mother of the Church, surely was interceding for all of her spiritual children on Holy Saturday.  And so, dear friends, in imitation of her let us enter into our own Holy Saturday with trusting surrender and hope-filled waiting, as well as with fervent intercession for the end of this pandemic, healing for the suffering, consolation for the grieving, strength for those called to care for the sick or offer another heroic witness, and eternal life for those who have died.

It is our fervent prayer that this extended Holy Saturday will be filled with hope, ardent prayer, trusting surrender to the Father’s Will, and a growing longing for Eucharistic Communion with the Resurrected Jesus.  As each of us is invited, through God’s Providence, to sit in silence – may we do so with a listening ear; to wait in the darkness of faith – may we do so with the light of hope burning brightly; and to experience blessed solitude, may we rest in the assurance of the Lord’s steadfast nearness.