Rorate Caeli

A Book in Time for Lent: Fr Armand de Malleray's "Meditations on the Stabat Mater"

CTS (Catholic Truth Society) has released a new booklet by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, just in time for Lent. You can listen to a short podcast with the author about the great Marian hymn here. The booklet itself may be ordered here. Below are some reactions of readers.

“If you truly wish to be transformed by Christ, go to the Cross and contemplate His Passion. If you truly desire to plumb the depths of knowledge of Christ’s Passion, go to His Blessed Mother. There is no other created being in Heaven or on Earth that understands the sufferings of Our Lord better than the one who had a sword pierce her own heart. If you want to know some of what the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches about her Son’s Passion, read this book. With great wisdom, the author has chosen the hymn which best expresses the profound sorrow of Our Lady, a sorrow filled with hope – the Stabat Mater. This hymn forms the landscape in which he skilfully illustrates the mystery of Calvary and the journey of the soul from fall to rise.” Mother Marilla OSB, Superior General of the Tyburn Nuns, London

“A Desert Father of the fifth Century commenting on a vision he had of Saint Mary, the Mother of God, weeping by the Cross of the Saviour, famously declared, ‘I wish I could always weep like that.’ The medieval meditation, Stabat Mater, responds to this wish of the Christian soul. Who would not feel moved to comfort the sorrowful Mother of our crucified Saviour? Who would not desire to be taught by her the tears of authentic compunction? The author’s fine and sober commentary leads us ‘to better appreciate [Mary’s] grief so as to be shaped by it, her sorrowful heart becoming the matrix of our souls as they learn contrition.’ A luminous and profound exposition of one of the most powerful and consoling prayers of the Catholic tradition.” Dom Xavier Perrin, OSB, Abbot of Quarr (Isle of Wight), author of The Radiance of Her Face

“One could be forgiven for thinking, that as ‘She stood’ beneath the Cross, the sufferings endured by the Blessed Virgin Mary, were in actuality, an ‘event’ in themselves. In a most delicate and imperceptible way, the author, with adept contemplative precision, offers to us these reflections. His Commentary on the Stabat Mater is not for the faint hearted, it is an invitation offered to us all, of ‘standing with’ Mary on Calvary. Alike to that of the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mary is depicted, comparable with her Son, as a figure pierced to the spot, not by nails, but by a sword of sorrow. This moving Commentary on the Stabat Mater, discloses for us, in a simple, yet most piteous way, at what cost we were redeemed.” Mother Bernadette of the Heart of Mary OCD, Prioress of the Carmelite Monastery in Birkenhead, England

“True devotion to Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin is the simplest, safest, and straightest way to loving union with Christ, and contemplation of the compassionate heart of 'the Lady of fair weeping' leads us directly to the Heart of her divine Son, pierced  by our sins; it has the power to move us to contrition, to the desire to make reparation, and to a greater assurance of Our Lord's merciful love. This conviction of faith inspired Jacopone da Todi’s writing of his hymn, the Stabat Mater, and animates the author’s new commentary, so clear and sound in its doctrine and lyrical in its language. This beautiful little book, born of prayer, is just what I need, what every Catholic needs, for the fruitful praying of the Stations of the Cross.” Fr John Saward, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, author of Redeemer in the Womb: Jesus Living in Mary