Stabat Mater (The Mother was Standing)

The following prayer may be used before each meditation from this book any time of year.

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.

By the Cross with you to stay,
there with you to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Translation by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica (1849)

Table of Contents


Reflection One – A Mother’s Love

Reflection Two – The Strength of the Immaculate Heart

Reflection Three – The Thoughts of the Mother of God

Reflection Four – Spiritual Friendship

Reflection Five – Total Surrender

Reflection Six – A Leap of Joy Remembered

Reflection Seven – A Lowly Servant of the Lord

Reflection Eight – Fidelity in All Things

Reflection Nine – Unwelcomed by the World

Reflection Ten – The Sword of Sorrow

Reflection Eleven – Living in Exile

Reflection Twelve – A Shared Suffering

Reflection Thirteen – A Mother’s Ponderings

Reflection Fourteen – “Do Whatever He Tells You”

Reflection Fifteen – Hearing and Observing the Word of God

Reflection Sixteen – The Greatest of Miracles

Reflection Seventeen – Entering into Jerusalem

Reflection Eighteen – “This is My Body…This is My Blood”

Reflection Nineteen – The Agony in the Garden

Reflection Twenty – The Innocence of the Lamb of God

Reflection Twenty-One – The Scourging and Mockery

Reflection Twenty-Two – “Behold, Your King!”

Reflection Twenty-Three – The Sentence of Death

Reflection Twenty-Four – The Gaze of Mother and Son

Reflection Twenty-Five – Jesus Falls

Reflection Twenty-Six – The Holy Women and Veronica

Reflection Twenty-Seven – Humiliation – Stripped of Garments

Reflection Twenty-Eight – His Hands and Feet

Reflection Twenty-Nine – Jesus is Lifted Up on the Cross

Reflection Thirty – “Father, Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do”

Reflection Thirty-One – “Today You Will be With Me in Paradise”

Reflection Thirty-Two – “Woman, Behold Your Son…Behold Your Mother”

Reflection Thirty-Three – “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Reflection Thirty-Four – “I Thirst”

Reflection Thirty-Five – “It is Finished”

Reflection Thirty-Six – “Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit”

Reflection Thirty-Seven – The Earth is Shaken

Reflection Thirty-Eight – The Soldier’s Lance

Reflection Thirty-Nine – The Pietà

Reflection Forty – The Silence of the Tomb

Prayers for Holy Week and Easter

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