She remained still, even inside herself. She was still because she was listening for God, and she was occupied with His will, and, because of her love, being completely present as the unthinkable happened to her Son.
The Scripture says only that she was there. There was no way her instincts as a mother were not the strongest that could be. However, she did not attempt to stop anyone, scream at anyone, blame anyone, say anything, do anything, but stand as she watched her Son be tortured and murdered before her. Any parent would find this hard to imagine. Since we know she was an incomparable mother, we know this stillness was not wrong of her. It was right.
She chose to be still because she trusted Jesus, and she took her lead from Him. She remained focused on Him, and she let nothing get in her way. She would never let anyone steal her treasure: her union of heart and will with Jesus, no matter what was done to her heart and soul by what was done to Him.
She faced everything, even this unbearable violence, as it happened, not knowing the future. Nothing could stop her from loving and doing what was asked of her in the moment, even if it was to stand and be desolated. And that is strength, if that is what is right. And it was totally right.
In this stillness she kept, she was able to sense her call to ally herself completely with the offering of her Son and join Him.
Her silent strength and her courageous proximity to her condemned Son must have been a rare wonder to those standing by. She needed to remain completely present to Him, loving Him. She wanted to be totally open to God’s plan as it unfolded in her life, no matter how horrific it seemed. She had to pay attention and keep watch with her Son, listening for the Holy Spirit, trusting the Father. She understood this, and nothing could stop her, not the hatred and mockery of the angry people around her, not the cold efficiency of the soldiers of Rome, not even her mother’s heart crying out within her in the face of what she had to see and experience.
In the midst of all this, she was still. Such was her fierce focus and priority.
She was neither passive nor weak. She was unbelievable.
Sometimes it’s time to say, “Son why have you done this to us,” and sometimes it is time to be silent, to be present, to be still. She knew how to respond or not respond, because she listened and she watched, and because, “her heart could not want what God did not want,”* even when she lost everything, “even God her own Son.” **
Her response of stillness on Golgatha models for us the Gospel meaning of turning the other cheek: “I will not be turned back from love.” Her eyes were on God.
Incomparable Mother, incomparable disciple.
Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
Give me the strength to be still,
and to remain
close to the Cross.
*St. Faustina: “Her soul yearned for Jesus with the whole force of Her love. But she was… so united to the will of God that her heart could not want what God did not want.”
*Chiara Lubich ” … she knew how to lose everything, even God her own Son.”
To learn about the hymn: Stabat Mater (The Mother Standing):