The Stations of the Cross-4

  The Stations of the Cross-4

 1.      Beginning of the Station: We adore Thee O Christ and we praise Thee;

Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has redeemed the world

2.      Ending: Our Father… or Hail Mary or Glory be ..

3.      Hymn


The First Station:  Pilate Condemns Jesus to Die

We adore …

God is condemned…to death!  Pilate represents the world with its ambitions, comfort, and empty promises.  He finds truth uncomfortable and thus closes his mind to Jesus: “What is truth?” And He hands Jesus over to be crucified.

Meditation: Have I become a Pilate to Jesus?  I have remained silent in public when Truth is denied, condemned, and rejected.  The innocent suffer and die while I condemn Christ, remaining silent and refusing to act.

Prayer: Jesus, forgive me for all the times I have failed to defend you and your little ones in the world, especially the unborn.  May I never again be afraid of the Gospel! 

The Second Station:  Jesus Accepts His Cross 

“The Sin of the Century is the loss of the sense of sin.”  The weight of the sin of the world is laid upon the already bruised, lacerated, and bleeding shoulders of Jesus.  How excruciating is that cross that I helped fashion!  And, yet, for love of me and for love of them, He stretches to embrace it…He kisses it…and carries my guilt away.  “Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, by His stripes we have been healed” (Is. 53:5).

Prayer: Jesus, in pondering this Station of the Cross, give me a true sense of sin so that I might come to know True Love. 

The Third Station:  Jesus Falls for the First Time 

Oh the Humility of God!  We do not have a God Who saves us from afar, but rather One Who became like us in all things except sin.  We do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with us, but rather One who allowed Himself to be beset with weakness.  Under the crippling weight of the Cross Jesus fell with me, so that with Him I might get back up and follow after Him.

Prayer: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine! 

The Fourth Station:  Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother 

There is a proverb, “Behind every great man there is a great woman.”  Behind the Great Man of Sorrows is the bereft Mother of Sorrows.  Jesus could have arranged for His Mother to be “out of town” on Good Friday.  And yet Jesus loved Mary more than that.  He allowed her the privilege of being with Him in His sorrow.  Mary loved Jesus enough to let Him suffer and die in order that we might live.

How unlike Jesus and Mary I am!  How impure yet is my love!  

Prayer: Mary, you understood God’s Plan in the life of your Son.  You met Him along the way and were a consolation to Him in His pain and loneliness.  Teach me about the mystery of suffering!  Do for me what you did for Jesus! 

The Fifth Station:  Simon of Cyrene Helps Carry the Cross 

The slow death march suddenly halts.  Jesus seems unable to proceed much further.  The soldiers, not wanting Him to die prior to crucifixion, force Simon to help Jesus.  Can we not imagine that what Simon initially shunned he in due time came to embrace as an honour and grace?

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk. 9:23).  

Prayer: Jesus, give me your Cross!  May I not need to be forced, but may I willingly help you carry your Cross in the sick, the lonely, the prisoner, and the dying. 

The Sixth Station:  Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus 

Little things done with great love.  How moving is this example from tradition! A courageous woman approaches the inapproachable Man of Sorrows, with nothing to offer Him but to wipe His blood and dust stained Face with her veil!  And yet, even more amazing, Jesus lets her love Him!  In extending mercy to Mercy, she receives Mercy!  His true image is left imprinted on her veil.

Prayer: Jesus, save me from my damnable pride.  Never let me refuse to give and receive such little acts done with such great love. 

The Seventh Station:  Jesus Falls for the Second Time 

Jesus rolls to the ground, again.  Is He tempted to stop now?  I would be!  He has come so far in loving me, and yet the hill of Calvary is yet at a distance.  It would be so much easier to succumb to temptation, weakness, and pain, considering the past struggle exerted enough.  No!  Jesus does not stop.  He gets up and continues on.

Prayer: My Lord, like you, may I get up one more time than I fall. 

The Eighth Station:  Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem 

Every fall, every hesitation of Jesus in His progress along the way unleashes a renewed inundation of scourging by the barbaric soldiers.  And yet, Jesus stops when He notices this group of pious women weeping, and has words for them.  His head is pounding with migraines, His body faints from loss of blood; His lips are swollen from the many falls and ensuing blows of the soldiers.  Jesus lovingly bears it all to enter the suffering of others.

When I hurt, I too often hurt others.  I turn within in self-pity and become oblivious to those suffering around me.  Jesus hurts and in that pain, He perceives mine and reaches out.  

Prayer: Jesus, help me to forget my own suffering and become sensitive to the suffering of my brothers and sisters. 

The Ninth Station:  Jesus Falls for the Third Time 

Jesus collapses a third time.  Again, ensue the barrage of kicks, whipping, and mocking.  The addict and the habitual sinner all find the inspiration and the strength to continue the daily battle with ourselves, the world, and the devil as Jesus slowly but resolutely rises yet again and sets His Face forward toward Calvary.

“For the sake of the joy that was laid before Him, He endured the Cross and its shame” (Heb. 12:2).  

Prayer: Jesus, give me hope!  Then, like you, let me become an apostle of hope for all those tempted to despair. 

The Tenth Station:  Jesus is Stripped of His Garments 

Finally, we arrive at the place of destiny.  The cup of suffering is full.  Can the Son of God be further abused?  The soldiers grab at His garments and wrench them away exposing His Sacred Body.  His wounds are once again opened and He grimaces in pain.  Yet, a far deeper wound is that of His soul.  The Fairest of Men, the Most Chaste Jesus, sees and now experiences the Wounds of Humanity present today – pornography, masturbation, adultery, sexual abuse.  The Temple of God, once radiant in beauty, is robbed of His dignity.

Prayer: Jesus, lover of chastity, make me chaste!  Jesus, abused, heal all who have been robbed of their dignity through sexual sin. 

The Eleventh Station:  Jesus is Nailed to the Cross 

The trembling Body of Jesus is stretched out across the cold cross.  A soldier, hammer in hand, selects some large nails from a rusty bucket.  Breathless, Mary watches.  The pounding of the hammer begins, interspersed with shrill cries.  Jesus prays aloud, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  As He had taught His disciples, Jesus forgives and prays for His enemies.

Prayer: Father of Mercy, Your Beloved Son, nailed to the Cross, prayed to You for me.  I know You always hear and answer Your Son.  I, too am your son!  Answer my prayer!  Give me your Son’s forgiveness.  Forgive all those who cause me pain. 

The Twelfth Station:  Jesus Dies Upon the Cross 

The sun darkens as the last semblance of life fades from His Face.  Jesus lifts His eyes toward heaven and prays a final time: “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk. 23:46).  He takes His last breath, and then gives up the spirit.  A soldier, seeing the manner of His death, said: “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mk. 15:39).

Prayer: Holy Spirit, breathe into me Jesus’ final breath!  Inflame me with Jesus’ divine thirst for souls, His trust and surrender.  Give me the Spirit of Jesus Crucified so that I might “daily carry in my own body the dying of Jesus” (cf. 2 Cor. 4:10) and thus help others to believe in Him.

The Thirteenth Station:  Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

The limp, lifeless Body of Jesus is lowered from the Cross into the arms of His grief-stricken Mother.  She holds His head to her bosom and she often did in Bethlehem.  At the Foot of the Cross Mary adores her God, dead in her arms.  Life has died and all seems empty of promise.  Yet, Mary hopes against hope.  She believes His words.

Prayer: Lord, may my prayer be: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it bears much fruit”.  May I like Mary wait for him. 

The Fourteenth Station:  Jesus is Placed in the Tomb 

Mary is not able to hold Jesus long.  His Body must be buried quickly.  The Passion continues.  The Sacred Body of Jesus, lifeless, remains the Son of God.  God experiences being a corpse and is buried.  The Soul of Christ, also united to the Person of the Son, descends into the Hell of the Just.  The great silence of Holy Saturday prolongs the self-emptying of Jesus.  What is emptied will be soon filled.

Prayer: Jesus, mould me in Your likeness.  Share Your Passion with me.  And, as Mother Teresa would often pray, let me always remember that Your Passion ends with the joy of the Resurrection.