At the Foot of the Cross

Good Friday - Stabat Mater

Photo credit: Pieta by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

At the Cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed.

O, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.

– from the 13th-century hymn Stabat Mater

Reflection Question: With Jesus giving us his Mother from the Cross, the entirety of Christ’s family is there with him, suffering with him, at his Passion, which he endures for our sake. How should I praise the Lord and glorify him for the love he has given me?

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