We suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
        Romans 8:17

        I'd like to comfort you, Mary, but I find that your grief is my grief, too.
          I see other friends of Jesus coming to you, bringing you their crushed hope.
          They are numb with despair.  You embrace one another and now, finally the tears you could not, would not release yesterday, dampen the shoulder of John's robe.
        You are empty now, with nothing more to give.

                Someone (maybe it is Thomas, or even Peter) says, "I can't believe this has happened. I was so sure He was really the Messiah, but now. . . . "
          No one will voice what they all fear, but the turn of their words is acid to your wounds,
        so you slip out into the silence of the Sabbath to find a lonely hill where you can be alone.
          The question that you ponder this day is a hard one, Mary----
        one every person asks at some time or another.
          Would I do it again? Knowing all the pain it would bring,
        would I have been so quick to acquience to the angel's bidding? Was it really worth all the suffering?

                It's a question I, too, have asked, Mary----during those dark hours when it seemed for a time that love had gone out of my marriage;
          when my oldest son had rejected his family and it tore me apart;
          when I felt the sting of failure in my work.  And Mary, each of these was a thing I'd prayed about!

                I have intruded on your solitude in this lonely place, but your voice is gentle, caring.
          "Even though they pray, God doesn not shield the ones He loves the most from every grief.
        The Father didn't spare His own Son. The Son did not spare His mother.
          But know this,  my friend.  At the very heart of suffering lies a treasure.
          And the prayers you offer during your private agonies lead you to that hidden grace.
          Oh yes!  I would do it again. . . and again. . . and again.  Oh, be it done unto me!" 
        I came to comfort you, Mary, and you have stayed to comfort me.

                Oh blessed art thou among women!                
        On all my dark Saturdays, Lord, lead me to that secret place of grace in You.