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Salve Regina (we cry)

Ad te clamaumus, exsules filii Hevae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.

To thee do we cry, Poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Here we begin the actual petitions of this prayer. We "cry" to Mother Mary. This acknowledges that we are not just chatting. This is not just any request. After all, we are not asking for cookie, but for her loving prayers to Jesus so that we will not end up in Hell!

We call ourselves, at this point, "poor banished children of Eve". This is supposed to remind us of how Adam and Eve made that choice, so many thousands of years ago to listen to Satan and were banished from Eden. When that happened, we were banished as well because we are their children. We are not merely "banished children" though; we are "poor banished children". What does the word "poor" mean? We use it easily today: "oh you poor baby!" Yet, its meaning is clear: to be without. When we call someone something like "poor baby" we are saying that we feel sorrow for them because they are without something that is good or important. We too are "poor" because we are without the blessings that Adam and Eve had before the fall. We are also without the immediate presence of God as they experienced before the fall, and as the Blessed Virgin is now experiencing.

Then we state that we are sending her our "sighs". Those are the groans that we express when we are feeling the sufferings of this world and do not know how to express it. It even calls it "mourning and weeping" because we need to acknowledge that sin leads to sadness. The fallen nature of creation effects us in more ways that we can imagine. We should never try to "get used to it" or just "keep a stiff upper lip". We are supposed to deal with that suffering in the way that Our Lady of Sorrows did. To accept it as a part of the path to Heaven. It is necessary in this fallen world.

Lastly, this world is not just called "this world." It is this "valley of tears". If we leave it at that, then we fall into despair. The "valley of tears" is a place where we must go through sadness. To try to recreate the world to make it all happiness is a misunderstanding of what God intends for us. We are to seek to bring peace and joy in the midst of tears. We cannot eliminate the tears any more than we can go back in time and change what happened. The fall happened; the world is a mess, and we are called to keep hope in eternity, for that is where God will wipe away all tears. That is why we are praying to Mother Mary.

More to come...


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