But where is Mary to look, with her soul’s eye, for consolation? …
But where is Mary to look, with her soul’s eye, for consolation? Nay, her soul’s eye must look where her body’s eye is fixed already. It is bent on Jesus; and it is that very sight which is her torture. She sees His Human Nature; and she is the mother, the mother beyond all other mothers, loving as never mother loved before, as all mothers together could not love, if they might compact their myriad loves into one intensest nameless act. He is her Son, and such a Son, and in so marvellous a way her Son. He is her treasure and her all. What a fund of mystery—-keen, quick, deadly, unequalled—-was there in that sight! And yet there was far more than that. There was His Divine Nature. We talk of mothers making idols of their sons; that is, worshipping them, turning them from creatures into creators, regarding them as truly their last end and true beatitude, so giving their hearts to them as they have no right to give them to anyone but God. This Mary could not do, and yet in another sense might well do. For Jesus could be no idol, and yet must of necessity be worshipped as the Eternal God. None saw this as Mary did. No Angel worshipped Him with such sublimely abject adoration as she did. No saint, not even the dear Magdalen, ever hung over His feet with such mortal yearning, with such human fondness. Yes! He is God,—-she saw that through the darkness of the eclipse. But then the blood,—-the spittings, the earth-stains, the unseemly scars, the livid, many-colored bruises,—-what did all that mean on a Person only and eternally Divine? It is vain to think of giving a name to such misery as then flooded her soul. Jesus, the joy of the Martyrs, is the executioner of His mother. Twice over, to say the least, if not a third time also, did He crucify her; once by His Human Nature, once by His Divine, if indeed Body and Soul did not make two crucifixions from the Human Nature only. No Martyrdom was ever like this. No given number of Martyrdoms approach to a comparison with it. It is a sum of sorrow which material units, ever so many added together, ever so often multiplied, do not go to form. It is a question of kind as well as of degree; and hers was a kind of sorrow which has only certain affinities to any other kinds of sorrow, and is simply without a name, except the name which the simple children of the Church call it by, the Dolors of Mary.
The Foot of the Cross
SECTION I THE IMMENSITY OF OUR LADY’S DOLORS