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One of those things in life that I just don’t get is the suffering that comes into our lives. No one is immune from it, and I am experiencing suffering up close at this moment myself. (5 words that changed my life) .

For sometime now I knew that the subject of suffering had to be a part of the theme for this weekend. The Assumption of Mary is a joyous feast and one accompanied by much celebration around the Christian world.

Mary of Nazareth, however, has much to teach us about suffering and its role in our lives.

Despite her 6,000 + titles (According to the Mary Page ) , the beautiful works of art about her life and the uncountable number of Churches named in her honour, Mary of Nazareth is above all the peasant girl from a small town who said YES to God’s invitation.

In doing so she became a wife to Joseph and the mother of Jesus. She would have experienced the grief of losing her parents and becoming a widow. But nothing could have prepared her for the suffering of her only son at the hands of the religious leaders and the Romans.

Drop by tomorrow for a video clip that will capture a powerful moment and is the basis for the eventual theme for this weekend’s homily- “I’M Here.”

Below is a reflection I recently received from Fr. Richard Rohr– ( Click here to sign up for his meditations.)

One outcome I had hoped for as a result of this week’s posts on Mary  is to illustrate that although much has been written about Mary and theologians at the highest levels have developed powerful dogmas about her- the most important thing to remember is that she is always with us- until the hour of our death- our times of greatest need and suffering.

My question- What role can Mary play in our suffering?
Fr. Rohr asks: How do I use religion as an excuse for not facing my fears and doubts?

An awful lot of religion is an excuse for not facing our fears, our self, and our doubts.  True religion is not denial of doubt but a transformation of it; and often, to be honest, a temporary deepening of our doubt and darkness to get us there.

God walks with us into our fears, to feel them, to own them, to let them teach us.  During that time, we are often in darkness and cannot uphold ourselves.  It even feels like a loss of faith.  It is then that we slowly learn to let Someone Else hold us, and we come out enlarged and more hopeful.  As long as I have lived, I cannot explain the chemistry of this transformation, but those who have gone through know it to be true.

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