Affliction is hard to bear because it reminds us that we are weak and dependent. It makes us feel helpless. It can wear us down to the point that we almost don’t want to care anymore. This is especially true when we suffer from an affliction that has no apparent cause or cure. Sometimes, affliction requires us to accept assistance from others and most of us hate doing that. We want to be independent, capable, and able to handle things on our own.
There’s a tendency for people to scorn those who are afflicted. Some of that is the result of prejudice, and some of it is because the afflicted remind us of our own human frailty. We don’t want to think that we could be like them, because it’s disturbing to picture ourselves suffering as they are. This is part of what makes Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta a saint. The afflicted didn’t scare her – in fact, she loved them as she loved the Lord himself. She and her Missionaries of Charity serve them out of love for Christ.
Affliction can easily wear us down unless, of course, we seek help from Our Lady, Undoer of Knots to undo our knot of affliction.
Words of Pope Francis
The Upper Room reminds us of sharing, fraternity, harmony, and peace among ourselves. How much love and goodness has flowed from the Upper Room! How much charity has gone forth from here, like a river from its source, beginning as a stream and then expanding and becoming a great torrent. All the saints drew from this source and hence the great river of the Church’s holiness continues to flow: from the Heart of Christ, from the Eucharist, and from the Holy Spirit.
Prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots
Our Lady, Undoer of Knots,
I’m being crushed by this affliction. I don’t understand why God allows it, nor do I understand how to cope with it. All I know is that you somehow understand all of this, because you are so close to God and to me.
Sometimes not knowing the how or why is as difficult to bear as the affliction itself. Please help me to accept my inability to understand, and give me the strength and courage to endure this knot of affliction that burdens me [name the affliction]. You know all the people affected by this affliction – please also give them the strength and courage that they need.
Help me to remember the message of the Cenacle – that Jesus will send the Spirit to encourage and enlighten me. As you work on this knot of affliction, please work on my heart so that I can truly trust in Jesus’s promise that he will come again and take me to himself.
Mother, I also want to unite my prayers with those of Pope Francis, asking God to dispel the confusion and grant lasting peace in the world. Amen.
Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be for peace in our hearts, homes, and the world and for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Make a concrete resolution to take one step toward peace in your heart today.
Thank you for joining our virtual novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. I pray that during these past nine days you have come to great piece in your heart and your home. I pray also that the knots that you have endured – injustice, separation, confusion, hopelessness, grief and loss, discord, betrayal, envy and pride, and affliction – have been loosened by our Lady. Furthermore, I pray that you have discovered a new closeness to our Lady and her Son, and a new confidence in her intercessory power.
May Our Lady, Undoer of Knots bless and keep you always.