(For the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa…)

Have you been there?

the place where prince and beggar were the same

and dignitary and tramp are still today.

Have you walked it?

the floor worn thin, grooved into trenches…

the marble being more yielding than the knees in prayer.

Have you seen it?

the face of a mother: a mother scarred and gashed

and therefore recognizable to her children

because they look like her:

they, the wounded, broken, violated ones.

And do you know?

She has resisted all attempts to destroy this likeness

between her and her little ones

until the scars can be washed forever from their hearts and faces

her own scar will remain.

And do you see?

how they come, from near and far… across oceans and over seas

in thanksgiving for her communion: her empathy

they leave her their own trophies

of hurt

and pain

and woundedness…

And the Mother with the wounded face will not cease restoring health

until all her own are healed.

Do you recognize?

the icon that she is:

of the wounded face of God

broken for us

wounded with our woundedness.

And do you recognize

why we come?

Seeing in her, ourselves

and Him

Whom we are trying to be

at once united in the beauty and tears

upon her face.


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