Archive for the ‘Stations of the Cross’ category

Stations of the Cross: Faithfulness Under Fire

October 26, 2012

I offered the Stations for a leader
who was suffering for implementing Truth…

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)

Jesus stood firm in the face of accusation, condemnation.
He didn’t lash out. He didn’t back down.
He stood His ground,
exemplifying what He taught about turning the other cheek,
giving your cloak and tunic, going the extra mile.
He’s trustworthy.
He means what He says.
He doesn’t change with the tide of public opinion.
You can count on Him.

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

Jesus doesn’t make idle threats.
He knows the consequences of His choices
and is fully prepared to embrace them,
to follow through for our sake.
He has courted the cross.
Now He embraces its weight.

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

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

God doesn’t limit Himself to success.
It’s much easier to only take on things you know you can handle,
things over which you have control.
God takes on all sinners,
knowing that with some He will fail–
they will cast themselves into hell
despite all His efforts to rescue them.
He could just leave them to their own devices,
but He doesn’t.
He gives them the freedom to make a failure of Him.

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

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

Those who love
suffer when their loved ones see them suffer.
Jesus knew His suffering would redound on His Blessed mother,
and it broke His Heart to put her through that,
but He would not let Himself be blackmailed by that suffering either.
He would be true as an arrow, come what may.

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

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

The suffering continues to rebound on others.
Mary was willing.
Simon was not.
Blame pressed upon the Just One-
“See how Your stubbornness is causing all these people to suffer?
Are You proud of Yourself for instigating all this oppression and pain?!
You’ve got to back down now, You cad!”
But Jesus can see higher and deeper than this.
He knows the price of capitulation
-for all involved-
and the rewards of redemption.
He will not be swayed.

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

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

We’ve seen what God will not give
-He won’t change truth to suit our desires-
but that doesn’t mean His hands are closed.
Quite the contrary.
To those open to receive
He gives more than we could ask or imagine-
His very self.

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

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

“Souls are falling into hell like snowflakes” (message of Fatima)
Souls are falling, falling, falling into sin.
While there’s life, there’s hope-we can repent and go on.
But we are not guaranteed another breath.
The falls of Jesus cry urgently:
“Repent and be saved!”

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

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

It’s stressful to deal with weeping women,
with those whose reason is clouded by emotional distress,
but our Savior wades right in and speaks truth.
He redirects their distress toward a constructive end:
“Weep for yourselves and for your children!”

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

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

[The man of faith] has no trouble
subordinating all his projects and hopes
to the unfathomable designs
of a God who often uses failure even better than success
to bring about the good of souls.
– Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O.
The Soul of the Apostolate

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

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-of everything.
Every shred of human dignity, of respect, of honor, torn away.
Nothing left but base contempt and condemnation.
Still He remains faithful,
for He cannot, will not deny Himself.
You can’t change Truth
(thank God!)

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

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

It’s amazing how far man is capable of going
-how far I am capable of going-
with passions unchecked.
To dare to crucify God!
But surely God wouldn’t let Himself be crucified (would He?!)
-must be an imposter (so we’re justified in crucifying Him).
How abysmally we underestimate the power of God.
How tragically we apply to Him our own vices,
He Whose weakness so far surpasses our greatest power;
Whose folly surpasses our most sublime wisdom.
Holy is the Lord!

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

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

It is His generosity that resists our greed,
His boundless love that restrains our hostility.
He will not leave us to our own lusts.
He’s dying to deliver us from ourselves.

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

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

Divine strength is made perfect in weakness,
in dependence on others to empty the cross of its precious load.
God shares the credit as He shares the crime.

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

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

He’s done His part.
He’s shown the way.
It’s up to us now-with Him living within us,
equipping us to do what He has done.
There are things worth dying for…
principally SOULS.

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

Stations of the Cross: Good Shepherd Theme

April 20, 2012

Reflection on this holy card sparked this week’s meditations
on the Stations of the Cross during my time of Eucharistic Adoration
in the chapel of the school where my prince teaches:

The sheep that stay always near
to the shepherd
are the most favored.
He gives them always
some part of the nourishment
with which He himself is nourished."
~St. Teresa of Jesus (St. Teresa of Avila)
Copyright:Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

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)

The lost sheep is a condemnation of the Shepherd-a rejection of Him,
preferring something else over Him (illusion though it is),
going its own way, not wanting to stay close to Him

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

The Shepherd takes up His staff for the search

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

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

The search is over rough terrain. The Shepherd falls.
He goes over every nook and cranny, searching for His sheep.
He expects His sheep to have fallen, and gets down to search for it.
He will not “stand on ceremony”.
No spot is too distasteful or low or dangerous for Him
(brothels, bars, the rough side of town, etc.)

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

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

"She brought me back to You,
O my Good Shepherd.
I will never leave you again."
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://divinebergere.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 24, 1012

The shepherdess joins the search. She, too, loves the lost

Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who wanders
beside the flocks of your companions?
If you do not know, O fairest among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock
and pasture your kids beside the shepherd’s tents
-Song of Songs 1:7-8

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

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

Some are not so willing, but join the search by unworthy motives–
still God can use them.
They have no love for the sheep or the Shepherd-but that can change!
Being in God’s company tends to do that
(although that’s not absolute–it didn’t work for Judas)

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

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

Others give a little help along the way.
They share the reward nonetheless–
God appreciates the smallest gestures and repays accordingly

And whoever gives…even a cup of cold water…
shall not lose his reward
-Matthew 10:42

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

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

The Shepherd keeps lowering Himself.
This cave? This ravine? This tight spot?
Where’s My beloved sheep?!
He’s getting dirty, scraped up, weary in the search,
but He’s steadfast, determined.
He won’t rest until He’s found His own!
He’s getting down low for a sheep’s eye view
to see where he might’ve gone
(through a hole in the hedge invisible from a higher vantage point?)

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

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

Don’t weep-search!
You have your own lost sheep to find.
Don’t waste precious time in despondency over Me.
Pluck up your courage and bring them back–
you’ll be doing Me a much greater service that way
than by merely wallowing in sympathy

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

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

Down again. He just won’t quit.
Lower and lower He searches.
More and more mud and briars and stones are ground into Him.
He doesn’t care.
His thoughts are riveted on finding His sheep.
He spies it!

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

The Good Shepherd
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

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

His garments are ripped off. He’s going through briars, clothing caught.
He won’t let that stop Him.
He leaves His robes behind and presses on.
St. Clare said that if you’re stripped, the enemy can’t hold you (poverty–First Letter to St. Agnes of Prague).
Wrestlers used to strip for combat for that reason.
The young man in Gethsemane left his garment behind
in the hands of his would-be captors
& ran off (see Mark 14:51).

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

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

His lamb is in the lion’s mouth (David: see I Samuel 17:34-35).
He’s manhandled, set upon by wild beasts, pierced–
many dogs surround Him (Psalm 22:16).
His heart is set on His sheep.
He takes them on.

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

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

It’s a fight to the death. He gives His life for His sheep

The Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://agardenenclosed-carmel.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

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

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 looks like it’s over.
The Shepherd’s friends claim what’s left of Him.

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

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

He’s gone lower than anyone dreamed He could,
down to the gates of the netherworld itself.
There He’s found His lost sheep,
hoisted it on His shoulders and begun the journey Home
(tombs opened and many were raised and appeared to those in Jerusalem after Jesus rose from the dead, see Matthew 27:52-53).
The harrowing of hell

THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Rejoice, for I have found my sheep that was lost.
Luke 15:6
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 30, 2012

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

Stations of the Cross for Marriage

April 13, 2012

I offered the Stations for marriage this time…

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)

We point fingers in the wrong direction–
condemning people rather than sin.
Fight the right enemy!
We’re unjust judges,
handing down corrupt decisions (cf. James 2:4)

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

We are given burdens to be carried–
precious, priceless burdens to be embraced out of love,
preferred to all others because they come from love.
Love lightens the load
(it’s not heavy–it’s my beloved)

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

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

We’re limited.
We’re going to fall.
It teaches us compassion for the fallen.
We need to help each other up.
A fall–yours or another’s–is not the end.
It’s part of the process.
Welcome it too!
Don’t let it stop you.

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

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

Our parents are part of the process too.
They care.
They help in their own way (sometimes it’s painful).
Welcome them too.
You can be sure that St. Joseph would’ve been there too
(and certainly was following everything in spirit with great love!)
The Holy Family is pulling for you.
Acknowledge them.
Love for love.

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

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

There’s a sense in which we’re all unequally yoked
–we’re different
unwilling sometimes, unable others.
Still, there’s a grace in working together,
sharing the burden no matter how unjust it maybe.
In the end, justice will win out, despite injustice.

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

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

Little things make such a big difference!
We need to keep vigil to recognize and meet the little needs
and to appreciate the little kindnesses done for us.
They make love grow stronger on both sides
(inside & outside–we’re one, after all!).
And on the other side,
keep vigil to avoid perpetrating little annoyances
& overlook the ones done to us.

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

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

Falling isn’t something that only happens once & is gotten out of the way.
Coordinating doesn’t happen all at once.
Failure is progress.
It means you tried, you risked.
And you’re not God…but even God allowed Himself to fall.
You’re better than He?
Turn the humiliation into humility.
Celebrate it, get up, and keep going.

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

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

You’ll meet people who just don’t get it.
They’ll praise things that don’t matter (or are downright wrong)
and grieve your successes.
Gently point them to the truth.
Love them in their creaturehood.
Redirect their misguidedness with compassion.
They really are trying.
Credit where it’s due.
But don’t leave them to the error of their ways
to be swept away by destruction!
Then move on.
You’ve got your own mission to fulfill.
Don’t let them stop you.

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

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

Don’t ever consider yourself “safe” from falls.
Don’t relax your vigilance.
Keep attentive to the end.
You’ll still fall, but you’ll be prepared to handle it.
It ain’t over ’till its over.

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

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

You don’t know what’s really you
and what can be, must be, stripped away,
chipped and chiseled away
to fully reveal you.
Marriage is God’s workshop
where that happens.

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

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

Marriage anchors us open.
That’s what it’s for.
Sometimes that hurts.
But it’s love.
It’s what we were made for.
It lifts us up as an example to the world
of what Heaven is all about.

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

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

“’till death do us part”…and beyond…
Death to self, mortification.
Forgiveness, desire (“I thirst”, John 19:28),
giving of parents, giving of paradise, giving of all.

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

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

Picking up the pieces,
loving to the end and beyond,
being a burden
but still pouring out our heart

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

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

Giving with no thought of return,
emptiness of loss–price of love,
trusting One greater than ourselves to fill the gap.
Stillness.
Abandonment.
Love spilling over in tears that water new gardens of faith.
Hope that endures beyond the grave
and waits to return with coming dawn.

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

Stations of the Cross–Typology

March 30, 2012

A scriptural rosary that used readings (types, foreshadowings)
from the Old Testament inspired this week’s meditations
on the Stations of the Cross during 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)

Jesus bore the weight of condemnation, rejection,
heavier than the cross.
He’s silent. Abandoned.
Like David accused, cursed on his way out of Jerusalem
(2 Samuel 16:5-13);
like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego “condemned” for holiness (Daniel 3, 6);
like Joseph (Genesis 39:6-21), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38), the Maccabean martyrs (2 Maccabees 7), etc.
We can expect holiness to be rejected by the world.
We don’t live by their standards.

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

Go to work with a will.
Build the ark (see Genesis 6, foreshadowing of the Church,
which saves us from the flood of sin)
carry the wood of the sacrifice
(see Genesis 22, foreshadowing of Calvary),
build the temple (I Kings 5:15ff, foreshadowing of Jesus’ Body,
the Church).
Take it openly, with anticipation of enjoying successful completion.
When we shrink from work, shrink from our cross, Lord Jesus crucified,
have mercy on us.

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

No work is done in human strength–no work that’s eternally worthwhile.
Human strength must fall down in Adoration,
in dependence on the divine.
Only then can it rise.
In creating man, God lowered Himself to the dust of the earth,
to lift him up (see Genesis 2:7).
In recreating man, God again lowers Himself to the dust of the earth,
taking it upon Himself in human flesh
(the Incarnation, see Philippians 2:5-7)
and in landing in it as He falls under the weight of the Cross.
When we try to do Your work in our own strength, Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Strong mother of the martyred seven (2 Maccabees 7).
Rizpah standing with the sacrificed (2 Samuel 21).
Courageous, encouraging holy heroism.
When we try to discourage others
from standing firm in the Faith under pressure,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Lot unwillingly taken by the hand and led out of Sodom,
protesting all the way (see Genesis 19);
Jonah protesting his mission of salvation (see the book of Jonah);
prophets (even Moses!) trying to get out of their God-given mission
(see Exodus 3:11, 4:10; Jeremiah 1:6).
When we protest the good You ask of us, Lord Jesus crucified,
have mercy on us

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

Rahab sheltering the spies at her own risk (Joshua 2);
the widow of Zerephath giving her last bit of food and drink to a foreigner (I Kings 17:8-24);
the Shunamite woman preparing a permanent guest room for Elisha in her home
(see 2 Kings 4:8-37);
Rebekah watering the camels (see Genesis 24).
They were rewarded!
When we fail to give generously to God’s chosen in need,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Remember man that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

I lie prostrate in the dust:
give me life according to Your word
-Psalm 119:25

When we forget that we are but dust and ashes, Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Lamentations, weeping over Jerusalem;
Rachel weeping for her children–
she cannot be comforted, for they are no more
(see Jeremiah 13:15).
When we weep more over our earthly loss than heavenly,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Cast to the ground to plead for mercy–for us.
When we neglect to humble ourselves before God, Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Joseph stripped of his long tunic (see Genesis 37);
Shebna stripped of his office (see Isaiah 22:15-25);
David stripped of his kingship (see 2 Samuel 15:13-16);
every father whose son usurped his authority (Noah, Genesis 9:20-25; Israel, Genesis 34, 35:22, etc.).
When we rebel against legitimate authority,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Isaac tied on the wood (see Genesis 22);
Joseph cast into the cistern to die (see Genesis 38:22-24);
the paschal lamb sacrificed (see Exodus 12);
the serpent lifted up in the wilderness (see Numbers 21:4-9).

They have pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones
-Psalm 22:17-18

When we are rendered helpless, Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Why was it, sea, that you fled,
Jordan, that you turned back on your course?
Mountains, that you skipped like lambs,
and hills, like yearling sheep?
Tremble, O earth, before the Lord!
-Psalm 114:5-7

(the earth quaked when Jesus died, see Matthew 27:52)
When we fail to tremble before You in the awe of adoration,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

They shall look upon him whom they have pierced.
They shall mourn for him as for an only son.
-Zechariah 212:10-11

I saw water flowing from the temple.
-Ezekiel 47

(Blood and water flowed from Jesus’ pierced side–
the temple of His Body, see John 2:21; 19:34)
When we mourn, Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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

Tobit risked his life to bury the dead (see Tobit 1:16-2:8),
Daniel was closed in the den of lions (see Daniel 6);
Israel and Joseph were taken back to the Promise Land for burial
(see Genesis 50:12-13; 24-26, Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32).
The first land Abraham owned was a grave for his wife, Sarah
(see Genesis 23).
When we lack the reverence for the body
requisite to honorably bury the dead,
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…

Stations of the Cross–the Gift

March 26, 2012

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…

Stations of the Cross: Sacred Heart Theme

March 16, 2012

This is what came as I prayed the Stations of the Cross
for my dying grandmother during 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)

“Ecce homo”
“Behold the man”
My Lord, Virgin-born,
the only Man not deserving of condemnation,
I see in You a mirror of what I am–
ripped open by sin,
crowned by my own pride,
condemned with none to take my part–
save You.
Save only You.
Sacred Heart enkindled with love for me…

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

You only had thorns.
Now there’s a log on the fire.
How it blazes!

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

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

As logs burn
they fall in great showers of sparks.
Love blazes on

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

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

Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, Hearts afire-
how the flames mingle and rise higher!

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

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

Wet wood.
It needs to be dried out before it can catch–but it will…
It cannot stay that close to the fire
without being transformed, however reluctantly.

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

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

The smallest response to Love fans the flames,
leaves its mark.
Love finds relief in loving,
even more than in the service received.

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

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

As the flames rise, the fuel falls.
It is meant to be consumed.
Se are we–
until all is fire.

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

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

If this is the way it is when the wood is green,
what will it be when it’s dry?
If this is the fate of good,
what will be the fate of evil?
Weep not for those who suffer only in this life,
but for those headed for eternal suffering in the next!
Let love ignite your heart now
that you may escape the eternal flames!

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

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

In the end, the fire dies to embers.
That’s where the heat resides,
the heart of the fire,
which can do the most good.
Glowing, living, radiant, constant, steady.
The fuel completely transformed into fire.

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

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

Up to this point the fire’s been enclosed, contained.
The covering is removed.
The whole world exposed to it–to catch fire!
The Blessed Virgin Mary is fanning the flames as they catch!

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

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

Lifted high-
a burning torch of Love to light the way,
light up the world.

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

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

It looks as though the flame has been snuffed.
We didn’t count on trick birthday cake candles!
This fire only appears to go out.
Yet this is true death, not a trick.
The fire passes into the Father’s hands,
descends to Hades
to burst the prison bars and set the captives free

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

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

Remember, man, that you are dust
and to dust you shall return (see Genesis 3:19)
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Cool enough to handle.
We mourn the loss of the light.
The Immaculate Heart burns on in sorrow…
Blood and water gush forth
from this once-burning Heart
to quench the fires of hell, lust, temptation, anger, greed (etc.)

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

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

Love goes underground,
like the sacred fire hidden by Jeremiah at the time of the exile
(see 2 Maccabees 1:18-35).
The grain of wheat has died, has fallen to the ground,
has been planted.
The earth cannot contain it for long.
It will have a time of dormancy,
but very soon, germination and reproduction.
From a single grain come many grains,
which in turn will fall and die and multiply.
(and ash makes the earth fruitful!)

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

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
make my heart like unto Thine!
Let us come back from that sacred table
like lions breathing out fire!

Let us, then, come back from that table [the Eucharist]
like lions breathing out fire,
thus becoming terrifying to the Devil,
and remaining mindful of our Head
and of the love he has shown for us. . .
This Blood, when worthily received,
drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us,
and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . .
This Blood, poured out in abundance,
has washed the whole world clean. . .
This is the price of the world;
by it Christ purchased the Church…
This thought will check in us unruly passions.
How long, in truth,
shall we be attached to present things?
How long shall we remain asleep?
How long shall we not take thought
for our own salvation?
Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us,
let us give thanks, let us glorify him,
not only by faith, but also by our very works.
-St. John Chrysostom, Homily 46,
Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist


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