V. THE CRUCIFIXION
Mary did not stand beneath the Cross in mere passivity. A mother cannot be passive whilst her son is dying. As on the day of her Purification, though her heart was breaking, she gave Him without reserve for the sins of men. Thus is she associated inseparably, not only at Bethlehem with Jesus in His Childhood, with Jesus in His Boyhood and in His Manhood at Nazareth, but also with Jesus—with our Saviour—on Calvary in His Passion. There she—the model of perfect prayer—pleaded the Great Sacrifice, which could alone redeem the world and set us free. Mary's heart was pierced—a Refuge for all those who weep, that she might gently guide her children, through sorrow, to her Son. O Virgin most sorrowful, O Virgin most holy, we unite our hearts, our wills, our sufferings, our prayers to thine —that in thy loving-kindness thou mayest offer us to God.