We tend to think of suffering as something to avoid. Mothers can tell you that suffering is woven into their job description. The only picture my mother had on her bureau was of my youngest brother playing in the surf when he was a toddler. She explained that picture symbolized motherhood for her — the pure joy on my brother’s face was followed soon after by raw terror as a wave knocked him over. She felt every emotion along with him. Mothers raise their children in a dangerous world and they feel an under-swell of anxiety at all times. This applies even to Mary: you yourself a sword will pierce. The example of Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, is that suffering can be transformed into glory.