STATIONS OF THE CROSS
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
As we embark on the Way of the Cross we are reminded of the living sacrifice you made for us during your Passion and Death on the Cross. While reflecting on the sacrifices you willing made for us we ask your blessing on ourselves, and our family members living and deceased, so that we may be one day welcomed by you into eternal paradise.
Let us make our intention of gaining the indulgences attached to the making the Way of the Cross. Let us offer this devotion for our particular purpose. An Act of Contrition: O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Christ was tried before Caiphas, Pilate, and Annas. He was falsely accused. He was struck in the face, during the trial, by a soldier. Not once did He show impatience. In the midst of it all he bore himself nobly. He was clothed in peace.
In what do we resemble Christ? In our silence under reproof? In our patience when things go contrary to our liking? In our quiet, gentle manner towards those who ways are disagreeable?
Christ had spent the night in prison among rough men. They had blindfolded him. They had placed a reed in his hand and bowed before him saying, "Hail! King of the Jews!" They spat in his face and struck him blows. Then, in the early morning, he was tied to a post and whipped until there was not a sound spot on his body. In this condition he was given his cross to carry. Throughout it all Christ spoke not a word!
Let us meditate on the tremendous strength required for this silence! And we? How often do we murmur over trifles! How much we complain! How restless we grow under the slightest thing that chafes us. Each time we murmur, each time we complain, we lose strength. Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
Jesus falls under the weight of his suffering, from the exhaustion of his body. There was no one in that crowd to speak to him one word of sympathy. This in itself must have been a keen pain to the delicate heart of Christ, of him who had poured out upon the suffering and sorrowful the wealth of his tender compassion.
Do we touch the hearts about us with delicacy? We cannot tell what the gayest among them may be suffering. We cannot guess the hidden sorrow of those who are, perhaps, repulsive to us.
Let us ask our Blessed Lord to put considerateness upon our words and the touch of kindness into our actions, that our life may be one of sympathetic understanding.
When our Blessed Lady last saw Christ, he was beautiful. Now, that face, which to look upon was to love, is scarcely visible. The eyes are dimmed with blood - those eyes which had looked into the depth of hearts and brought to them peace and forgiveness. His lips are dry and parched - those lips that had spoken love and hope and sympathy. And Mary looked in anguish on her Son, and could not lift a hand to help him.
Have we ever ached to be a help to others? Is there anyone in the world to whom we are a help? A strength? An impulse to higher things? Are we helping as many as God intends us to help? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
Fearing that Christ would become exhausted before he reached Calvary, and that the crowd would then be cheated of the sight of looking upon the Crucifixion, his executioners called Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross.
What a privilege to be permitted to carry the cross with Christ! How happy we should have been had we been chosen! Still, every day of our lives we have the opportunity to pick up splinters of Christ's cross by wearing a smile for the sake of the hearts that are bending under the crosses of life. Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
Veronica braved the crowd and dared to show compassion and love for Christ, who was looked upon as a fool; and she was rewarded by having the impress of the face of Christ left on her towel.
Are we ever ashamed to show our loyalty to Christ? Do we hesitate, through fear of ridicule, to do what we know to be right? Are we ever influenced to believe that the restrictions of his law are foolish? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
No one helps Christ to rise!
Let us strive to lift him by lifting his creatures. Never let us look down on those who have fallen. Look down on the sin - yes, but not on the sinner. Be compassionate towards the sinner. Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
No one could give such sweet comfort as Christ, because no one had suffered so much. No one could touch the heart so tenderly as Christ, because no one had loved so deeply. No one could give so much strength under suffering as Christ, because no one was so unselfish in his sympathy.
Do we seek sympathy, or do we give it? Do we seek to be loved, or do we love? Do we lean on others, or do we try to grow strong, that others may lean upon us? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
Let us be a help to those who fall under the pressure of temptation. Let us never condemn the fallen. Let us never be heard to pass judgment on the actions of others. It is so easy to make mistakes that injure forever. Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
His garments were torn from his bleeding Body. The wounds of the flagellation were opened. This was in reparation for the sins of the body!
Self indulgence. Luxury. Soft living. Immorality.
Have we ever failed under any of these heads? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
The hands that had been lifted in blessings were nailed to the cross - those hands that had rested tenderly on the leper, opened the eyes of the blind, touched broken hearts - those hands were fastened with nails.
Those feet that had trodden the streets and byways of Galilee on errands of mercy were pinned to the cross.
This was the return made to him for his life of devotedness. Can we complain because we are not appreciated? Can we find fault because others are preferred to us? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
And during those three hours no words, save those of mercy and love, escaped his lips. Think of the beauty of a heart which, under the pressure of sorrow, gives out nothing but tenderness and overflowing love! Think of the magnificence of the heart that holds nothing but sweetness when saturated with the anguish of pain!
Then let us look at our own hearts. Is there any difference? Let us ask the grace to be like Christ.
Mary was the bravest of women; she was also the tenderest. Could Mary's silent sorrow have been sculptured in granite, no more beautiful type could there have been of the strength of a woman's heart and the tenderness of her love.
Let us ask of Our Blessed Lady to obtain for us the strength to bear sweetly - and above all, silently - the little vexations of every-day life, so that when our great cross comes, we may carry it nobly and bravely.
Let us pray that when our bodies are laid in the tomb, they may be the bodies of saints - heroic saints; saints that have made others happy, and thereby made them better; saints that have been living proofs of the beauty and attractiveness of virtue and thus have brought many hearts to the feet of Christ; saints that have woven into their lives the characteristics of Christ - his tenderness, his love, his sympathy, his beautiful forgiveness.
Let us ask as a final favor to understand the meaning of the Cross of Christ.