I have three albums by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Of late, my little Honey Bee has been drifting off to sleep to the dulcet tones of the sisters as they sing and chant on Lent At Ephesus, and I also have Advent and Angels and Saints.
I've been listening to the beautiful music night after night, knowing much of the music, and not knowing plenty.
So the other night, I grabbed the cover insert from the CD case and took a look while I listened. I happened to be on Track 12, which is the Tartini Stabat Mater. I'd heard the Latin text before, but had not really taken the time to see what it meant, nor why it was written.
Whoa. Blown away.
In some aspects, I'm so much my faith and so much my humanity. This, I suppose, was a humbling moment of humanity.
This beautiful sequence was written in the 13th century and is meant to be sung as a meditation between the Stations of the Cross.
This is the translation found in the booklet:
The sorrowful Mother stood
weeping beside the Cross, while her
Son hung thereon.
A sword pierced her sighing,
and grief-stricken soul.
O how sad and how afflicted
was that Blessed Mother
of the Only Begotten!
How she grieved and suffered,
that loving Mother, when she beheld the pains of
her glorious Son.
Who is there that would not weep,
if he should behold the Mother of Christ in such
Who could refrain from grieving,
if he should contemplate the Mother of Christ
suffering with her Son?
For the sins of His own nation,
she saw Jesus in torments
and subjected to stripes.
She beheld her sweet Son
until He yielded up the ghost.
Ah, Mother, fount of love,
make me feel the force of grief,
make me weep with thee.
Make my heart burn with love
for Christ God that I
may be pleasing to Him.
Holy Mother, mayest thou bring it to pass that the
wounds of the Crucified be deeply impressed
upon my heart.
Share with me the sufferings
of thy wounded Son,
who thus deigned to suffer for me.
Grant that I may be wounded with His wounds,
that I may be inebriated with the Cross and with
the Blood of they Son.
May I be defended by thee
on the day of judgment, O Virgin,
lest I go down to be burned.
When, O Christ, the hour has come for me to
depart hence, grant that through Thy Mother I may
obtain the palm of victory.
When my body dies,
grant that my soul receive
the glory of Paradise. Amen
When I read this text while hearing the sisters sing, I could not help but weep. Give it a listen: I bet you will, too.
The woman whom I mentioned in an earlier post, named Virgina, has been rescued. Read the details here. I would loved to have named my friend, Fr. Paul Arinze, in my earlier post, but because of the possibility of extortion, the diocese asked for a media silence until the situation was resolved. We heard about Mrs. Arinze's abduction at Mass the first Sunday of Lent, and within one week, we then heard of her rescue. Thanks be to God!!!