Sorrow is a tricky topic. Too much attention to sorrow seems to lead to a gloominess, yet avoiding real sorrow when it arises isn’t helpful either. Today’s liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows helps us to recall that living a life of Christian love will include sadness, and that this sadness, though no easier for it, can be part of our sharing in Christ’s redemptive work. Sorting out how to respond to sorrow and loss is not easy and is best done with the help of others, but let Mary’s experience be an assurance that God is with us even in sadness. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

—Timothy E. Kieras, SJ, is a member of USA Central and Southern Province doing special studies in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.