Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bitter Herb

When my heart is sad or I am hurting in some way, I know I can always turn to Our Lady for help. From childhood I have had a close bond with Mother Mary, even when I fell away from the Church I still asked for her intercession and help in my life. I have no doubt that she has obtained many, many graces and miracles for me. I trust her. She is my greatest role model, after Jesus. I often find myself meditating on Our Lady and the central role she played in her Son's life.

One of the things I noticed about Mary is the significance of her name. One of the meanings is bitter herb. This fascinated me because according to the Bible, during passover, the Jewish people dressed the passover lamb with bitter herb. During the passion of Christ, the true Lamb of God, Mary intimately shared in the Lamb's bitter passion. One might say: The One true Lamb of God was dressed with bitter herb [Mary] as, hearts united, they suffered together. As Simeon prophesied, her own heart was pierced by a sword, spiritually, as Jesus' heart was pierced, physically, by a soldier. How immense her interior suffering must have been!  Her name was not a coincidence. No way.

Thank you,  Mother Mary, for loving us so much. You withheld nothing from God and lived totally in His Will. Intercede for us, that we may also become utterly His. Amen


  1. Beautiful Mary! Nothing with God is ever a coincidence ... but I love learning the meaning and significance of Mother Mary's name. Thank you for that!

    God bless you Her namesake!

  2. Thank you :) I agree there are very few coincidences, I am finding God's hand everywhere. God bless you, also!

  3. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE YOUR ANALOGY HERE!!!! So often, my children have asked me why MARY would mean "bitter"...and Miriam...a form of Mary ...all the girls in my family (including me) have some form of Our Lady's name within our names...and we just never understood BITTER tied in with MARY, having our sweet, clement Blessed Virgin in mind with the name.
    I almost want to go get my kids out of bed to tell them!!!!!! I can hardly WAIT for morning!
    Thank you MARY!

  4. Judy,
    Your welcome :) I have actually found this translation a number of times. Many books translate it as "bitter" or even "star of the sea" but when I found "bitter herb" a light clicked on in my head. Aha! It suddenly made sense to me :)

  5. Beautiful... I have often thought about Mary's sharing the passion, and how bitter-sweet that must have been... thank you for this reflection.