The Lord goes to His voluntary Passion. We must accompany Him. This is the duty of anyone who confesses that he has become who he is now by the power of Christ’s Passion.—St. Theophan the Recluse
Today is Holy Monday—the first day of Holy Week for Orthodox Christians. As we join Christ in His Passion—his suffering and death—through the services of Holy Week, we also join His Mother in her suffering. Mary was told, even before her Son was born, that “a sword shall pierce your heart.” Whenever mothers suffer the pain their sons must endure in their lives on earth, the Mother of God understands, and gives comfort when we ask her. One of my favorite hymns of the Church is this one:
To thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos: but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!
Every mother has known some level of suffering for her children’s pain. Today I remember the sufferings of my youngest son, Jason, whose Name Day we commemorate today. St. Jason was one of the seventy apostles who went forth to preach the Gospel of Christ in the first century.
Our oldest son, Jonathan, is at the VA Hospital today, where he will have surgery for appendicitis. He went to the emergency room around 2:30 this morning with severe abdominal pain. His father is already there and I’m headed up there to be with him soon.