Monday, March 02, 2009

The Stations of the Cross

For Spanish see our archives By Catholics: El Viá Crucis

The stations, His way of the cross, are our way of salvation, too. We must often apply their power to our own life situation. This can be done anywhere, at home, on a park bench, waiting for a train, or a friend.
Let us make His way of the cross our way of life.
The Way of the Cross is a devotion in which we accompany, in spirit, our blessed Lord in His sorrowful journey to Calvary, and devoutly meditate on His suffering and death.
All that is required to gain the indulgence is to meditate for a few minutes at each station. No vocal prayers are necessary. However, those prayers printed here may prove helpful.



THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

AN OPENING PRAYER
God, our heavenly Father, we raise our minds and hearts to you in praise and thanksgiving. Though weak and sinful, we wish to follow your only Son, our Lord Jesus, on the way of the cross. May your Holy Spirit help us use our Savior’s strength effectively in our place in life. We ask the special aid of our blessed Lady, ever Virgin and Mother, in following Christ and in making His way of the cross our way of life. Amen.

(OPENING PRAYER . MASS OF PASSION SUNDAY – ROMAN MISSAL)
Almighty, ever living God, you have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility. He fulfilled your will by becoming man and giving his life on the cross. Help us to bear witness to you by following his example of suffering and make us worthy to share in his resurrection. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

BEFORE EACH STATION

V. We adore you, O Christ, and praise you;
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


I Station

PILATE CONDEMNS JESUS TO DIE
And they all gave their verdict; he deserved to die.
Mk 14:64


Found guilty though innocent, unjustly judged, our Master accepted a perverse human verdict.
He knew God has the last word. We, too, must imitate Christ, pray for the wicked, and leave the rest to God.


MEDITATION: Jesus has been scourged and crowned with thorns. Now, Pilate unjustly condemns Him to die upon a cross

II Station

JESUS ACCEPTS HIS CROSS
Pilate handed him over to be crucified.
Jn 19:16


All of us who follow Christ will have our own cross to bear. By imitating our Lord the \cross we carry becomes a means of salvation and final victory both for ourselves and for others as well.


MEDITATION: Jesus is given a cross to carry on His bleeding and bruised shoulders. He takes this cross upon Himself as He takes upon Himself all of our sins.

III Station


JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

I looked: there was no one to help.
Is 63:4


Even our blessed Lord staggered and fell under the weight he was bearing. He had no one to aid Him. Christ is with us when we stumble; He is eager to help us. Turn to Him now and ask His aid.


MEDITATION: Jesus, weakened by all His suffering, stumbles and falls on the way to Calvary. He struggles and rises, despite His pain, to go onward toward His death.

IV Station

JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER
Woman, this is your Son.
Jn 19:26


Our Lord gave His holy Mother a part in His suffering so she might fully share His victory and glory. Our Lord, Jesus, gives us this same chance to loin Him in sorrow so we may share their great by.
Now, her grace-filled smile blesses his mission and stirs his heart to its depth.


MEDITATION: Jesus, on His way to Calvary, sees His Mother. Both are stricken with grief. Her love for Him is surpassed only by His love and concern for her.

V Station


SIMON HELPS CARRY THE CROSS

They seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, and made him shoulder the cross.
Lk 22:26


Simon resisted until he learned how easy the yoke, how light the burden when carried for Christ.
Never let our natural, human fear of pain keep us from the tasks we meet on our journey to eternal life.


MEDITATION: Jesus is growing weaker. Fearing that He may not be able to go on, His executioners force Simon of Cyrene to help Him carry His cross.

VI Station


VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.
Mt 25:40

Veronica’s instinctive act of pity will be recalled forever. Anything we do for anyone Christ counts as done for Him. So never hesitate to do good to others whether they deserve it or not. God will never forget.

MEDITATION: Jesus’ face is bathed in sweat and blood. Veronica, moved by pity, wipes His face with her veil and the image of His holy face is imprinted on the cloth.

VII Station


JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
He was praying all the time for sinners.
Is 53:12


Christ’s weakness made Him fall again, but He went on. When we weaken, when we falter and fall, our Savior knows from His own experience how hard our way is. He will be our strength, our helper in every difficulty.


MEDITATION: Jesus falls again under the weight of the cross. His executioners drag Him to His feet and force Him to go onward to Calvary.

VIII Station

JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN
Weep rather for yourselves and for your children.
Lk 23:28

Jesus did not think of Himself, he thought of others, of the sufferings His people would yet have to endure. When we act like Christ, and think first of others, our own trials seem somehow easier to bear.

MEDITATION: Jesus is so bruised and bleeding that the women of Jerusalem weep when they see Him. He tells them, “Weep not for me, but rather for your children.”

IX Station

JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
They leave me lying in the dust of death.
Ps 22:15


His final fall reflects the frailly of Christ’s human nature. Yet, He went on. We often have proof of our weakness, too. Yet, we show fidelity to God by going on in spite of our infirmity.


MEDITATION: Jesus, weak and exhausted, falls for the third time. Though He hardly has strength to move, they try to make Him walk faster.

X Station


JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

They shared out his garments by casting lots.
Mt 27:35


Our Lord’s clothing was taken away. So in spirit must we also separate ourselves from our material possessions.
Eventually, we must part with them. Be generous always with the gifts God gives you for a time.


MEDITATION: Jesus has reached the summit of Calvary, the place of His execution. As they strip Him of His garments, they reopen His bleeding wounds.

XI Station

JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
They crucified him there and the two criminals also.
Lk 23:33


Fastened hand and foot, moving only with pain, how humiliating to be nailed at last to your cross!
Our Lord cries out to our Father, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” Mt 27:46


MEDITATION: Jesus is now thrown down upon the cross. His executioners violently stretch His limbs and fasten them with crude nails to the wood.

XII Station


JESUS DIES UPON THE CROSS
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
Lk 23:46


All of us must someday die. With God’s help we will meet death as Jesus did. Final bodily defeat is turned by God into our first moment of triumph. Having died with Christ we will rise and reign with Him.


MEDITATION: Jesus is crucified. After three hours of agony and pain, He commends His spirit to His Father, bows His head and dies.

XIII Station

JESUS IS TAKEN FROM THE CROSS
Now let God rescue him if he wants him.
Mt 27:43


Christ’s death is ultimate proof of His humanity. Unless He was human, He could not have died. Unless He was also God, His death could not save us. “Ours were the sufferings He bore.” Now we must be dead to sin.


MEDITATION: Jesus’ lifeless body is taken from the cross by His disciples Joseph and Nicodemus. Tenderly, they place Him in the arms of His sorrowing Mother.

XIV Station

JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB
He then rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb.
Mt 27:60


They take the body of Jesus to its resting place.
We see Christ’s body laid to rest, but no grave can hold the Lord of the Universe. He rises again to new life with God living always to intercede for us while we continue His work here on earth.


MEDITATION: Jesus’ body is wrapped in a shroud and placed in a nearby sepulchre of a friend. Then a large stone is rolled against the entrance and they depart.

AFTER EACH STATION
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

——————————————————————————–

Let us pray.
You, o God, overcame death through your only-begotten Son who opened for us the gates of life eternal. Help us, then, to carry out in our lives the desires you inspire in us. This we ask through the risen Christ, our Lord, who now lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for all the ages. Amen.

CONCLUDING PRAYER FOR THE POPE 
Father of Providence, look with love on our Pope, your appointed successor to Saint Peter on whom you built your Church. May he be the visible center and foundation of our unity in faith and love. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(FROM THE ROMAN MISSAL)

INDULGENCES
A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross.
Those who are “impeded” can gain the same indulgence, if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Photos in booklet token From works of  Vincenzo G. Mussner, Woodcarver.