Act of Contrition and Opening Prayer
It is Catholic teaching that while we recognize the Divinity of Christ, while we distinguish between the divine nature of Jesus and the human nature of His Mother, we do appreciate that fact that there is something particularly attractive about the Virgin.
Mary, of all women, was selected to be the Mother of Christ. She was chosen and prepared for the special mission which God entrusted to her. She remained a virgin in her own life, who had, been immaculately conceived in the womb of her own mother St. Ann. Mary, who gave birth to the divine Babe in the desolate cave of Bethlehem, was ever the Mother of Christ in Nazareth and during the loneliness of the sacred public ministry.
But, atop Golgotha, Mary was supremely the Mother. The Via Dolorosa had been a shock when she witnessed the desecration to which her own Son had been exposed. She consummated this agony on Calvary when, standing at the foot of the heaving Cross, she heard those seven last words escape the parched lips of her Son. She was pierced again with a lance on Calvary and she felt to the depths of her soul the sorrow that a mother feels when her own flesh and blood is called upon to suffer, - especially if it be innocently.
Standing in spirit within the shadow of the Cross, we see the Mother of Sorrows. We draw near to her and glimpse those lines furrowed in her pure face. We see the desolation and grief written deep into her virgin brow.
There, she, the Mother of Christ, is given to us to be our mother. When Our Lord spoke those words to St. John, Son, behold thy Mother. He gave to us, in the person of St. John, His Mother, to be the Mother of the human race.
We stand near to that scene. We know that Christ loved His Mother and that Mary loved her Son. We feel a special affection for the Virgin of Sorrows and we know that especially from that moment she has taken us to herself! She has taken the whole human race to try to fill the void caused by the loss of her divine Son.
Do I pray to the Virgin Mother of Christ, calling upon her to assist me as I would call upon my own mother?
O Virgin of Carmel who was prefigured in the great cloud that the prophet Elias saw rising from the sea which did copiously shed blessing upon the earth, signifying the fecundity with which thou didst give to the world, in human form, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Christ Jesus, grant, we beseech thee, that while we accept Christ as our Redeemer, we too may share in the copious and abundant fruits which have been brought to us. May we serve Christ in this life and merit to enjoy Him eternally in Heaven.
Here recite three AVES for the special intention you have in making this novena.