Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Victory / Our Lady of the Rosary.
Part of the Litany that we've been praying for the novena to Our Lady of Victory includes the phrase "Victorious in your sorrows". That's an odd phrase, for how can one be victorious in sorrow? But she is. This photo I took of our lady (above) is of a stained glass in St. Joseph's church in Imperial, Missouri.
And though this is a representation of her during the Hidden Life of Jesus (the whole window shows Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the carpenter's shop in Nazareth), nevertheless her face shows the sorrows to come.
In fact, there is a tantalizing hidden sadness that peeks through this image, like the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa. There is a pity and a compassion that only comes from a fellow traveler who knows our woes and who has begun to suspect the hidden sufferings of God.
Speaking of God - He's been at work on me for the past two months. Trials and sorrows in abundance, leading me to question my very orientation and leading me to re-evaluate even those closest to me. The insidious selfishness of people and organizations that I had given much to and felt close to have been like thorns that I can not dig out.
And today we are seeing our border collie Presley at the brink of death.
Good God, I love this dog! Presley has been my intimate companion for nearly eleven years - my buddy. I've known many dogs, but never have a I loved one the way I love him. And he's apparently about to die.
Why do we do this? He's only a dog. The friends and co-workers who have hurt me of late - they're only people, sinners like me. I went in with my eyes open. Why love friends whose shortcomings you can see from a mile away? Why give and suffer for organizations that treat you and everybody they deal with like crap? Why grow to love a dumb animal that won't survive much past ten years?
But it seems that only Love unto Sorrow can make us Victorious.