Stations of the Cross–the Gift

Here are this week’s meditations on the Stations of the Cross
from my time of Eucharistic Adoration
in the chapel of the school where my prince teaches:

1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world
(at this point in each Station, I kiss the ground,
as I would if I were in Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa–
which is what the Stations are meant to represent)

Helplessness dismissed–they’ve washed their hands of You-
social rejection, agony of masculinity.

There is therefore now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.
-Romans 8:1

The old law condemned itself in condemning Him–
new standards now!

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

2nd Station: Jesus takes up His Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Embracing the Cross–that’s trust!
…love of suffering for the salvation of souls

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

External condemnation is bad enough, but falling–
that’s incrimination from the self.
Jesus shares it with us.
He offers that, too, for our salvation.
And His was public, for all to see, accuse, mock…

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

4th Station: Jesus meets His mother
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

You want to please Your mother,
not bring her this crushing sorrow.
But You please her by suffering well.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

It’s hard enough to accept gracious, skillful help,
but forced, reluctant, non-helpful help is yet another cross…
that can be offered for the salvation of souls

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

6th Station: Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Jesus didn’t want to leave Veronica,
this little oasis of love in a sea of hatred and apathy.
He left a piece of Himself with her.
He leaves something of Himself with us
when we give Him even the least loving relief–
and not an impersonal keepsake, but His very Face!

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

7th Station: Jesus falls a second time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

When Jesus fell, did He kiss the ground that received Him?
We can.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

8th Station: Jesus meets the weeping women of Jerusalem
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Suffering turned to love, turned to compassion,
turned outward, correcting in love
(fraternal correction at its best!)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

9th Station: Jesus falls a third time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Strength ebbing away, the end–bitter end!–is in sight.
Still depth of confidence in His Father’s will.
Accepting all, getting up for the last time.
Firm confidence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I unite myself to Thee.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

10th Station: Jesus is stripped of His garments
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Stripped, exposed, rejected, brutalized in Heart and Body, never wavering, standing strong in sol, nothing to hide, everything to give.

That which you are before God, you are:
nothing more and nothing less
-St. Francis of Assisi

Naked without shame (as it was in the beginning…Genesis 2:25).
Total gift of self (not just an image of self)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

11th Station: Jesus is crucified
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Immobilized, helplessness taken to a new level.
Lifted high, displayed in the dregs of misery.
This is good enough for God.
It’s too good for me.
There is power here–
the weakness of God that surpasses the strength of man
(cf. I Corinthians 1:25).

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

12th Station: Jesus dies on the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

The Word (cf. John 1:1) finally speaks
words of forgiveness, of gift, of desire for souls,
of vulnerability, of consummation

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

13th Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

It is finished
-John 19:30

The last drop of Blood and water shed.
The rest is left to others-
weaker, more cowardly, inept others.
It is enough

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

14th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Signed, sealed and delivered.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

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