Lenten Prayer – with Mary

When I was discerning religious life, I had no intention of entering with the Canossian Sisters.

I know, I hear my friends saying, “Er…but Sr Lisa Marie, isn’t that the religious order you are with?”

Yes. I am a Canossian Sister, and have found my home in this beautiful Canossian religious family. How is it that I am here was settled by one prayer that our Sisters around the world pray each morning, asking for the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows:

Father, you willed that Mary
be at the Foot of the Cross
sharing in the sacrifice of your Son.
Grant, that
through her intercession,
we may bear within ourselves
the image of Christ
Crucified and Risen,
and spend ourselves
with untiring charity
for the good
of our brothers and sisters,
through Christ our Lord.

I remember the first time I heard the Sisters pray these words, I knew.

It was as though, like the Baptist to his disciples, ‘Look, the Lamb of God.’ And when they heard this, they followed Jesus (John 1:36-37).

When I heard the words “image of Christ Crucified” and “spend ourselves with untiring charity”, I intuitively knew I found my spiritual home.

During this Lenten season, it is a time to follow the Lord towards Jerusalem. We can imagine his knowing each footstep carried him closer to future he didn’t want, yet, he walked on the same out of love for the Father and for us, for the ‘good of his brothers and sisters’.

This is my Lenten journey. This is the Canossian way of life. This is my Christian way of life. May I walk it in love for the Father each day ‘with untiring charity for the good of our brothers and sisters’. May others be inspired desire to follow this way of service to the Father, through the contemplation of the Greatest Love on the Cross, with Mary at their side. Amen.

20 thoughts on “Lenten Prayer – with Mary

  1. Sister Lisa, I always enjoy your posts. This one inspires me to walk with Mary on my Lenten journey. Today I was a little agitated, so I said a Hail Mary and asked Mary to help me calm down. It helped.

    Although I am a Lay Carmelite, following Our Lady of Sorrows is second nature to me. I was born on September 15th, and, of course that was no accident! When I was eight years of age my dad explained the devotion when I asked questions about the image of Our Lady of Sorrows that hung in our kitchen on our liturgical calendar. It was a disturbing image for a little girl to see, but my dad’s explanation put me at ease.

    • Thank you, Ruth Ann! I always enjoy reading your insights, and encouraging comments! Yes, to understand Our Lady of Sorrows, one must come to understand the reason behind her sorrow. Also, just so you know, our Foundress, St Magdalene entered Carmel twice to discern her vocation, so the Carmelite spirituality is very close to our own in some ways. :) Blessed Lent!

  2. A very moving reflection on your vocation call. It is so wonderful when God gives us such a clear sign that we know exactly where we should be. It doesn’t always happen, or maybe I just don’t listen well, but I can relate very well to your story. Have a blessed Lent Sr. Lisa

    • Thank you, Fr. Jon. I wish you a blessed Lent in return. It is true, we don’t always have a clear sign of God’s direction for our lives, and I think your point that, perhaps we are not listening well, has something to do with this? It is a reminder for me to LISTEN more attentively to the daily signs that point me to God and His tremendous love … we will not be led astray if we do this. :) God bless!

  3. Hello Sister Lisa,

    I grew up with all Italian Canossian sisters in the Philippines, and they were the ones who taught me to love Our Lord and Blessed Mother with my entire being. When I was in Sacramento, CA in ’93 I was surprised when I met an Italian Canossian sister there. When I went to Rome in ’75, I met with a Canossian sister who helped me find a reasonable hotel near the Stazione Termini. The Canossians are very close to our family, especially to my mom. Glad that there are vocations in the US now.

    I enjoy reading your posts.

    In Jesus and Mary,

  4. Dear Sr. Lisa,

    Thank you so much for that beautiful prayer. It is very moving and says so much about how, and why, we should lead lives of service to others in God’s name.

    But what speaks most strongly to me is the first line of this prayer, that blessed Mary “shared in the sacrifice” at the foot of the cross. There are Christian and even non-Christian friends of mine who are confused about we Catholics’ devotion to Mary. This prayer says to me, “How can you NOT be devoted to Mary, the mother of God?!!”

    Mary was one if us, an ordinary person of flesh and blood, who was chosen by God to bring his Son into this world. Indeed, she “interceded” for us so that we may serve others in His name and ultimately enjoy everlasting life.

    Many mothers suffer sorrow, and have for generations. It is a tragic fact of life. But there is one mother whose sorrow shadows all others. And I thank God, every day, that Mary had the strength to suffer that sorrow so that we, all of us, have the possibility to be born again. She is worthy of our devotion.

    Thank you again for this wonderful prayer, that puts into words why I am a Catholic.

    • Thank you, Leo, for your insights to the role of Mary and how she always complements the work of her Divine Son, especially in her sorrow. We Canossians are called to stand with her at the foot of the Cross, consoling her sorrow with our works of Charity (which we pray helps to prevent sin that causes pain). I am glad that you have found the key to understanding our Lady of Sorrows, and my heart shares the gratitude you express that she had such fortitude as to stand at the foot of Cross. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us who have recourse to you! Blessed Lent!

  5. That’s great life. But ,I think my children suffer by my great life.
    You teached us to helping the sufferring and the trouble when I was young.
    Thank you very much for your spirit.
    I will realize love and peace by you.
    I am a old woman. I left confidence. I want to fix by the tradittion and universal.

  6. Hello Sister Lisa

    I am so happy for you, that you chose to be a bride of Christ! It is good that this lovely prayer touch your heart! but it could only touch your heart sister because God was already their in your heart, and he lives within your soul. May your spiritual home continue to grow! Have a blessed Lent sister…

    • Thank you, Kim. The Lord has been very generous and patient with me, and I pray that others may find the joy of sharing in the labor, consoling our Mother’s sorrowful heart with their works of love. Blessed Lent to you too!

  7. Dear Sr. Lisa,

    Thank you for the beautiful prayer. I love Jesus and Mary. Could you please give
    me your permission to share with our brothers and sisters in Christ by post this prayer in our parish’s Sunday Bulletin when I have the chance. God bless.


  8. Mary walked the stony way to calvary hill with Jesus, urging him on and strengthening him with her maternal presence. She even stood by him at the foot of the cross.
    Thanks to Jesus, she is our mother also, and if we go to her, if we ask her to, she will walk with us and help us to carry our cross after Christ this lenten season. She can; she will. I am a testimony to that.

    • Thank you, Joachim, for your beautiful testimony of Mary’s role in our life. May she also accompany us, along with her Son, during this Lenten season of grace. God bless!

      • Dear Sister Lisa & Brad

        I have read this most wonderful book! It is a wonderful read! Here are some more books to read during lent. “The Life Of The Blessed Virgin Mary” From the Visions of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich… & “The Life Of Mary As seen by the mystics First one in the book Ven. Anne Catherine, & St. Bridget of Sweden, & Ven. Mary of Agreda,St. Elizabeth Schoenau. These beautiful nuns will take you threw the life our our Lady and our Lord and St. Joseph! They have such away as to bring you into the holy life of Jesus & Mary you will be moved by their testimony! May the Holy spirit be your guide… Happy Lent. Kim Consiglio

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