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Day Ten of Lent – The Sword of Sorrow

Day Ten of Lent
The Sword of Sorrow

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35

As our Blessed Mother stood at the foot of the Cross, she would have pondered many moments from the past thirty-three years with her Son. One such moment was when she and Saint Joseph presented Jesus in the temple in accord with the Jewish custom.

As they brought their newborn child into the temple they were greeted by Simeon, a holy and righteous man who spent his days praying in the temple. Simeon had received a personal revelation from God that he would be blessed to see the Savior of the World before his own death.

When our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph brought Jesus into the temple, Simeon was immediately aware that this Child was the promised Messiah. He took Jesus into his own arms and proclaimed:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

He then turned to our Blessed Mother and spoke to her saying, “You yourself a sword will pierce.”

The sword of sorrow, prophesied by Simeon some thirty-three years earlier in the temple, at Calvary pierced our Blessed Mother’s heart. The Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother was deeply wounded with this promised sword as she stood at the foot of the Cross watching the cruelty befalling her Child.

One consolation that she would have received as this sword of sorrow pierced her heart so deeply was the recollection of this prophecy. The prophecy of Simeon would have clearly come to mind in this moment and the truthfulness of Simeon’s words would have helped her to know that the sacrifice of her Son on the Cross was the fulfillment of His mission. Knowing this truth would have eased her pain as she gazed at the completion of the will of God.

Reflect, today, upon two aspects of this scene on Calvary. First, ponder the deeply painful sword of sorrow that our Blessed Mother endured as she stood before the Cross of her Son. Secondly, reflect upon the consolation she would have received as she recalled the words of Simeon the prophet. Pondering those words strengthened her and enabled her to see her Son’s death as the fulfillment of the will of God. In turn, knowing the truth of your mission of sacrificial love will help you as you endure the swords of life.


Dear Mother, as you stood before your own divine Son on the Cross, the sword of sorrow prophesied by Simeon pierced your Immaculate Heart. Help me to see the pain in your heart this day. As I gaze upon this wound of love, help me to also see your heart’s acceptance.

Dear Mother, may I hear the words of Simeon and accept them into my own life. In this life I am promised the same fate as you and your divine Son. I am promised a life of sacrifice and suffering. But I am also given hope as I see sacrifice as the fulfillment of the will of God.

Dear Lord, help me to unite all suffering in life to You. May I accept the crosses I am given with hope, love and joy. May I never shy away from the fulfillment of Your will. I give myself to You, dear Lord, and pray that I may imitate Your total self-gift to the world.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Ten: Tempter

Saint Matthew’s version of Jesus’ forty days in the desert gives the devil the title, “tempter.” Saint Luke refers to him as “the devil,” and Saint Mark refers to him as “satan.” All three Gospels tell us that one of Jesus’ primary reasons to enter the desert for this time of fasting and prayer was to come face-to-face with the temptations of the evil one.

Satan’s title as “tempter” is appropriate because it describes his primary intention for everyone. Recall the fact that satan, lucifer, or the devil, was, at the moment of his creation, created good and beautiful. His name “lucifer” signifies that the purpose of his creation was to be the “light bearer” of God. What a noble and glorious responsibility!

The devil, like every other created angel and human, was created with free will. He could choose either to love God by entering into full communion with God’s will, or he could choose to reject this sacred calling by choosing his own will. Of course, he chose the latter. The result, as depicted in the Book of Revelation, is that the devil and a third of all the created angelic beings chose, with their own free wills, to reject God’s purpose for their lives.

However, what’s important to understand about these fallen angelic beings is that, even in their fallen state, they retain their natural powers given to them at the moment of their creation. Among these natural powers is the power of suggestive thought and influence over us. Their original calling was to communicate to us the beauty and power of God’s will for our lives. Now, they use their natural abilities in the opposite way, due to their pride.

In addition to satan, many other fallen spirits join in the single mission of being tempters of the human race. On one hand, God could have offered a remedy for their diabolic mission of tempting us, simply by destroying these fallen angels or stripping them of their natural abilities. But God did not do that. He gave these beings natural powers, and He does not now take them away. Instead, God did something even more amazing.

He took on human nature, entered into a state of physical hardship in the desert, and then allowed these fallen creatures to do all they could to tempt Him. By enduring their temptations, in particular the temptations of satan himself, Jesus gave human nature the divine strength to face and overcome every temptation the devil and the other fallen spirits will inflict. For that reason, we must enter the desert with our Lord to receive His strength as we endure the tempter’s assaults.

Ponder the amazing way that God chose to deal with satan and all fallen angels. Rather than destroy them, He overcame them, giving each of us the same power to overcome them. Think about your temptations. What is it that you struggle with, over and over again? What thoughts come from the lying spirits who seek only to tempt you and destroy you? Do not fear temptation. Do not hide from it. Face it with Jesus’ courage, Who conquered the evil one by rejecting every lie he attempted to impose.


My tempted Lord, You did not remove the natural powers that You gave to those spirits who rejected You. Instead, You chose to strengthen human nature by assuming its form and then overcoming temptation. Please give me Your divine strength every time I am tempted to sin. In Your holy name, Jesus, I rebuke satan and all evil spirits who prowl about this world seeking the destruction of souls.

Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Source: mycatholiclife

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