Updated: Feb 3
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This is a title given to our Blessed Mother to emphasize the immense pain and suffering that she went through during the life and death of her son, Jesus Christ. I have heard it said that, "a mother is only as happy as her saddest child" and one can only imagine what the depths of that must have been like for Our Lady. This does not only refer to the agony of watching Jesus die a gruesome and public death but several other events throughout his life that she endured as His mother. We call them the Seven Sorrows or Seven Dolors, which is why we see the traditional image of her heart with seven swords piercing it.
Seven Swords Piercing the Sorrowful Heart of Mary in the Church of the Holy Cross, Salamanca, Spain
The Seven Sorrows
The Prophesy of Simeon
The Flight to Egypt
The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Meeting Jesus on His Way to Calvary
Jesus' Body Being Removed from the Cross
The Burial of Jesus
While learning more about this feast day I read that it wasn't in the Roman Missal until 1482, that's more than 200 years after it gained popularity. It was added under the title Our Lady of Compassion not Sorrows, or so it sounds. The Latin roots for the word compassion cum and patior means to suffer with, and no one suffered more with Jesus than His own mother. This is a reminder to myself as well when thinking about what it actually means to show compassion for another person. We imitate Mary when we suffer along side of other people and stand by them with trust in God and love.
Today I made Lemon Bars which has become a new favorite for me, yes a little self indulgence. I made a liturgical living lemon connection with the sour taste that for some can even bring tears to their eyes. More than that it reminds me of the sour, bitter discomfort of suffering! Along with these we will be praying the sorrowful mysteries as a family, I hope that you will join along.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 32 minutes
Yields: 9-16 servings depending on cut
For the Crust
10 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C & 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 Tsp salt
For the Filling
3 large eggs
1 C. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 C. lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. baking powder
Picture disclaimer: I am just a regular gal trying to make for a happy home with happy bellies. While I'd like for everything to be "blog" worthy, I find more good in just showing you the way things are. I call this real life and this is what it would look like if you were baking lemon bars next to me. I hope you enjoy! 😉
This is going to be easier than you might think, so once you get all of your ingredients out you can go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out a bowl and pour in the 1 1/2 cups flour! I like to put the measurements in the descriptions as well because I hate having to scroll up and down while baking. You're Welcome Friends!
Then sprinkle in 1/4 Tsp salt to the bowl of flour.
Now for the powdered sugar, I highly recommend you don't make this recipe in dark colored clothes! Pour in 1/2 C and 2 Tbsps.
Whisk to thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients that you will need for your crust.
Next comes my favorite part, the butter, don't use any substitution or you will regret it. This buttery shortbread crust is absolutely delicious and I am not going to let you miss out. Cut 10 Tbsps of butter into smaller squares, this will make it easier to press into the flour mixture.
Put the butter into the bowl and cut it into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. You can use a pastry cutter or a good ol' fashion fork!
Bring on the workout! Whew! Alright do that until the flour looks like this... 👇🏼
Nice crumbly perfection! Good job, now for the next step.
Grease a 9x9 inch pan as you can see this one has been loved on a little bit.
Dump the flour mixture into the tin pan and press it to the bottom.
You don't have to press it down too much, just lightly enough for it to form a good bottom but no need for smashing it. Anyone else hear "good bottom" and think of the Great British Baking Show?
Toss that in the oven for about 15-18 minutes depending on the heat of your particular oven and while that is baking we are going to make the filling.
Get another glass bowl and crack in the 3 large eggs.
Pour in 1 C. granulated sugar.
Sprinkle in 3 Tbsps flour.
Zest 1 lemon. This and the fresh lemon juice are very important. I get a lot of compliments on these because of how fresh they taste and that is due to this step and the next.
Pour in 1/3 C. lemon juice.
Lastly, add in 1/2 tsp baking powder and look at this crazy bowl!
Delicioussssssss, just pour it on the crust like this... JUST KIDDING!
Whisk all of your ingredients together and THEN pour it on the baked crust. See, I told you this was ridiculously easy.
Before I pour in the filling I like to get a quick old school read on the crust just to make sure that it isn't under baked at this point. Of course it is going to get thrown back into the oven so it will bake a little more but we don't want to add filling onto wet dough.
My dough was ready after about 16 minutes so I poured the filling on top and baked it for about 18 minutes. I would say a good range would be anywhere between 17-20 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely, feel free to just put the whole tin into the refrigerator and let it rest there. Note: Don't dust with powdered sugar until after it has completely cooled.
Using a hand sifter I sprinkled the powdered sugar across the top to my liking. I was not happy about the little crack that formed on the top while baking so I cut the lemon bars along that line so that no one but us would ever know the difference. SShhh!
Cut into squares or rectangles and serve while cool.
Did you make this recipe? If so I would love to see it, drop a picture in the comment or send it to me on social media Facebook @HisGirlSunday.
For more liturgical living resources check out the blog section of my website or follow me on Facebook to see what Catholic things I am doing to celebrate feast days.