The pain of Mary
By Henri Suso
Who will give to my eyes as many tears as the letters required to describe, with transparent tears, the pity tears of the immense pain of my loved Lady?
From the Booklet of the Eternal Wisdom
Pure Lady and noble Queen of heaven and earth, touch my petrified heart with one of the warm tears that you poured for the bitter trouble of your tender Son, under the poor cross, so that this heart becomes more tender and can understand you; in fact the passion of the heart is of such nature that nobody knows it well, apart from who has experienced it. Ah, and now move my heart, elect Lady, with your sad expressions and tell me with little meaningful words, which I can remember, what you felt and what you did under the cross, when you saw your tender Son, the beautiful Eternal Wisdom, dying so painfully.
ANSWER: You must feel it as complain and pain in your heart; even if I am free from every suffering now, I was not in that time.
Before arriving under the cross I had felt some large inexpressible pains, especially when I had the first vision of my son maltreated, brutally hit: because of that I lost my strength and so worn out I was lead, under the cross, following my loved son. But your question, that is what I felt and what I did, feel it yourself as far as you can; there is no heart which can feel it completely.
You see, all sufferings a heart ever felt, compared with the unfathomable pain my heart felt in that time, would be like a water drop towards the sea. Therefore understand the following: dearer the Beloved is, more lovable and sweeter (towards us) he is and more unbearable His loss and His death are. Now, whenever was a so tender one born on the earth? Wherever was a more lovable one seen than my unique and lovable Beloved for whom and in whom I had absolutely all that this world could give? Already I was died on my own as I lived with Him, and as soon as my beautiful love was killed, only then I died completely. Like my unique Beloved was unique and He was love beyond every love, so my unique suffering was unique and suffering beyond any other suffering of which it was ever spoken. His beautiful, shining humanity was a lovable sight for me, His worthy divinity was a sweet sight for my eyes, thinking of Him was joy for my heart, speaking about Him was my pastime, listening to His words was like a sound of Harp for my soul. It was the mirror of my heart, the delight of my soul: the reigns of Heaven and earth with all their content, I possessed at His presence.
When I saw my only love, my whole hanging under my eyes in the misery of the death, what a show, what a moment was that one! How my heart died inside me, how my spirit was killed! How I lost my strength and how all my senses vanished!
I raised my eyes, but I could not help my beloved son; I lowered them: I saw with my eyes those people who maltreated my son so poorly! As unsuitable the earth seemed to me. I had lost my heart, my voice, my strength. And however, when I came to my senses, I told my son the following words with my hoarse voice: “My son, joyful mirror of my heart, at which I have often looked with joy, how poor I see You now at my eyes! Most precious treasure in the world, my mother, my father and whatever my heart can imagine, take me with You or to whom do You want to leave your poor mother? My son, who will let me die for You and bear this bitter death for You? Wretch pain of a mother deprived of Her love, as well as of every joy, love and consolation! Eager death, why do you save me? Take me, take my son His poor mother for who living is more bitter than dying. I see the only one, who my soul loves, dying, my son, loved son!.
You see, and while I was crying so bitterly, my son consoled me lovely and moreover told me that mankind could not be redeemed in another way and that He wanted to resuscitate on the third day and He would appear to me and the disciples and said: "Woman, refrain your tears, do not cry, my beautiful mother! I do not want to abandon you for the eternity". And while my son was consoling me so kindly, He recommended me to the disciple whom he loved and who was there present with the heart full of pain: the words penetrated so complaining and so poorly in my heart that they pierced my heart and my soul like a sharp sword - also the hardened hearts then had great mercy of me. I raised my hands and my arms and, in the misery of my heart, I would gladly embrace my love, but this could not be granted to me. And, overwhelmed by the great pain, I lost heart myself under the cross, I do not know how many times I lost my voice; and when I came to my senses and nothing other could be granted to me, I kissed the blood flowing from His wounds, so that my pale cheeks and my mouth was coloured by blood.
THE SERVANT: Infinite Mildness, what an unfathomable martyrdom, what a torture this pain is! Where must I turn myself, at who I must look? If I look at the beautiful Wisdom, I see such a pain with respect of which my heart should sink: outside people shout against Him, inner the mortal anguish fight against Him; all His veins are tight, all His blood is flowing. It is just suffering, dying alone without love, without any comfort.
If I then turn my eyes and look at the pure Mother, I will see the tender broken heart, like if one hundred knives had pierced it through, I will see the pure soul tortured. Nothing like that gesture of burning desire had ever been seen; nothing like those maternal tears had been ever heard. Her weak body has lost heart crushed by pain; Her beautiful face is spotted by lifeless blood. Complain and pain are greater than every pain! The martyrdom of Her heart is present in the suffering of the sorrowful mother, the martyrdom of the mother sorrowful in the innocent death of Her loved Son, death which seems to Her more painful than Her death itself. He looks at Her and consoles Her with much goodness; She cries and stretches out Her hands towards Him: She would want sadly to die on His place.
For which of the two is it worse? Which of the two suffers the greater pain? It is so deep for both of them that there was never equal pain. Maternal heart, delicate feminine spirit, how could your maternal heart bear this immense suffering? Shall this tender heart be blessed! With respect to its pain, all that was ever said or described about suffering of the heart is like a dream with respect to the reality. Be blessed, rising dawn, over all the creatures, and be blessed the flowery meadow with beautiful red roses of your face, adorned with the red flower of the Eternal Wisdom!
How You die, delicious face of the beautiful Wisdom! How You hang, beautiful body! How you pure blood trickles down warm on the Mother who gave birth to you! Shall you all mothers cry for this suffering. Shall all you pure hearts have the pure rose coloured blood, which flooded the pure Mother, imbibing your heart. Shall all you hearts, which never had an inner pain, contemplate and see that there had never been anything like this suffering of heart. It is not wonder that here our hearts are moved in complain and mercy; the pain was so large that broke the hard stones, the earth quacked, the sun darkened in order to suffer with their creator.