The Way of the Cross - One
A personal collection by Tom Vella-Zarb
Recommended for Prayerful Meditation
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SHORT MEDITATIONS ON THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Cardinal John Henry Newman


Begin with an Act of Contrition.

First Station:
Jesus condemned to Death
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

The Holy, Just, and True was judged by sinners, and put to death. Yet, while they judged, they were compelled to acquit Him. Judas, who betrayed Him, said, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." Pilate, who sentenced Him, said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person," and threw the guilt upon the Jews. The Centurion who saw Him crucified said, "Indeed this was a just man." Thus ever, O Lord, Thou art justified in Thy words, and dost overcome when Thou art judged. And so, much more, at the last day "They shall look on Him whom they pierced"; and He who was condemned in weakness shall judge the world in power, and even those who are condemned will confess their judgment is just.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

The Second Station:
Jesus receives His Cross
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

JESUS supports the whole world by His divine power, for He is God; but the weight was less heavy than was the Cross which our sins hewed out for Him. Our sins cost Him this humiliation. He had to take on Him our nature, and to appear among us as a man, and to offer up for us a great sacrifice. He had to pass a life in penance, and to endure His passion and death at the end of it. O Lord God Almighty, who dost bear the weight of the whole world without weariness, who bore the weight of all our sins, though they wearied Thee, as Thou art the Preserver of our bodies by Thy Providence, so be Thou the Saviour of our souls by Thy precious blood.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Third Station:
Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross the first time
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

SATAN fell from heaven in the beginning; by the just sentence of his Creator he fell, against whom he had rebelled. And when he had succeeded in gaining man to join him in his rebellion, and his Maker came to save him, then his brief hour of triumph came, and he made the most of it. When the Holiest had taken flesh, and was in his power, then in his revenge and malice he determined, as he himself had been struck down by the Almighty arm, to strike in turn a heavy blow at Him who struck him. Therefore it was that Jesus fell down so suddenly. O dear Lord, by this Thy first fall raise us all out of sin, who have so miserably fallen under its power.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Fourth Station:
Jesus meets His Mother
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

THERE is no part of the history of Jesus but Mary has her part in it. There are those who profess to be His servants, who think that her work was ended when she bore Him, and after that she had nothing to do but disappear and be forgotten. But we, O Lord, Thy children of the Catholic Church, do not so think of Thy Mother. She brought the tender infant into the Temple, she lifted Him up in her arms when the wise men came to adore Him. She fled with Him to Egypt, she took Him up to Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for thirty years. She was with Him at the marriage-feast. Even when He had left her to preach, she hovered about Him. And now she shows herself as He toils along the Sacred Way with His cross on His shoulders. Sweet Mother, let us ever think of thee when we think of Jesus, and when we pray to Him, ever aid us by thy powerful intercession.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Fifth Station:
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

JESUS could bear His Cross alone, did He so will; but He permits Simon to help Him, in order to remind us that we must take part in His sufferings, and have a fellowship in His work. His merit is infinite, yet He condescends to let His people add their merit to it. The sanctity of the Blessed Virgin, the blood of the Martyrs, the prayers and penances of the Saints, the good deeds of all the faithful, take part in that work which, nevertheless, is perfect without them. He saves us by His blood, but it is through and with ourselves that He saves us. Dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, make it pleasant to us to suffer for Thy sake, and sanctify all our sufferings by the merits of Thy own.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Sixth Station:
The Face of Jesus is wiped by Veronica
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

JESUS let the pious woman carry off an impression of His Sacred Countenance, which was to last to future ages. He did this to remind us all, that His image must ever be impressed on all our hearts. Whoever we are, in whatever part of the earth, in whatever age of the world, Jesus must live in our hearts. We may differ from each other in many things, but in this we must all agree, if we are His true children. We must bear about with us the napkin of St. Veronica; we must ever meditate upon His death and resurrection, we must ever imitate His divine excellence, according to our measure. Lord, let our countenances be ever pleasing in Thy sight, not defiled with sin, but bathed and washed white in Thy precious blood.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Seventh Station:
Jesus falls a second time
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

SATAN had a second fall, when our Lord came upon earth. By that time he had usurped the dominion of the whole world—and he called himself its king. And he dared to take up the Holy Saviour in his arms, and show Him all kingdoms, and blasphemously promise to give them to Him, His Maker, if He would adore him. Jesus answered, "Begone, Satan!"—and Satan fell down from the high mountain. And Jesus bare witness to it when He said, "I saw Satan, as lightning, falling from heaven." The Evil One remembered this second defeat, and so now he smote down the Innocent Lord a second time, now that he had Him in his power. O dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, and not be afraid of Satan's buffetings, when they come on us from resisting him.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Eighth Station:
The Women of Jerusalem mourn for Our Lord
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

EVER since the prophecy of old time, that the Saviour of man was to be born of a woman of the stock of Abraham, the Jewish women had desired to bear Him. Yet, now that He was really come, how different, as the Gospel tells us, was the event from what they had expected. He said to them "that the days were coming when they should say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts which have not given suck." Ah, Lord, we know not what is good for us, and what is bad. We cannot foretell the future, nor do we know, when Thou comest to visit us, in what form Thou wilt come. And therefore we leave it all to Thee. Do Thou Thy good pleasure to us and in us. Let us ever look at Thee, and do Thou look upon us, and give us the grace of Thy bitter Cross and Passion, and console us in Thy own way and at Thy own time.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Ninth Station:
Jesus falls the third time
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

SATAN will have a third and final fall at the end of the world, when he will be shut up for good in the everlasting fiery prison. He knew this was to be his end—he has no hope, but despair only. He knew that no suffering which he could at that moment inflict upon the Saviour of men would avail to rescue himself from that inevitable doom. But, in horrible rage and hatred, he determined to insult and torture while he could the great King whose throne is everlasting. Therefore a third time he smote Him down fiercely to the earth. O Jesus, Only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we adore with fear and trembling and deep thankfulness Thy awful humiliation, that Thou who art the Highest, should have permitted Thyself, even for one hour, to be the sport and prey of the Evil One.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Tenth Station:
Jesus is stripped of His Garments
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

JESUS would give up everything of this world, before He left it. He exercised the most perfect poverty. When He left the Holy House of Nazareth, and went out to preach, He had not where to lay His head. He lived on the poorest food, and on what was given to Him by those who loved and served Him. And therefore He chose a death in which not even His clothes were left to Him. He parted with what seemed most necessary, and even a part of Him, by the law of human nature since the fall. Grant us in like manner, O dear Lord, to care nothing for anything on earth, and to bear the loss of all things, and to endure even shame, reproach, contempt, and mockery, rather than that Thou shalt be ashamed of us at the last day.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Eleventh Station:
Jesus is nailed to the Cross
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

JESUS is pierced through each hand and each foot with a sharp nail. His eyes are dimmed with blood, and are closed by the swollen lids and livid brows which the blows of His executioners have caused. His mouth is filled with vinegar and gall. His head is encircled by the sharp thorns. His heart is pierced with the spear. Thus, all His senses are mortified and crucified, that He may make atonement for every kind of human sin. O Jesus, mortify and crucify us with Thee. Let us never sin by hand or foot, by eyes or mouth, or by head or heart. Let all our senses be a sacrifice to Thee; let every member sing Thy praise. Let the sacred blood which flowed from Thy five wounds anoint us with such sanctifying grace that we may die to the world, and live only to Thee.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Twelfth Station:
Jesus dies upon the Cross
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

"CONSUMMATUM est." It is completed—it has come to a full end. The mystery of God's love towards us is accomplished. The price is paid, and we are redeemed. The Eternal Father determined not to pardon us without a price, in order to show us especial favour. He condescended to make us valuable to Him. What we buy we put a value on. He might have saved us without a price—by the mere fiat of His will. But to show His love for us He took a price, which, if there was to be a price set upon us at all, if there was any ransom at all to be taken for the guilt of our sins, could be nothing short of the death of His Son in our nature. O my God and Father, Thou hast valued us so much as to pay the highest of all possible prices for our sinful souls—and shall we not love and choose Thee above all things as the one necessary and one only good?

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Thirteenth Station:
Jesus is laid in the arms of His Blessed Mother
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

HE is Thy property now, O Virgin Mother, once again, for He and the world have met and parted. He went out from Thee to do His Father's work—and He has done and suffered it. Satan and bad men have now no longer any claim upon Him—too long has He been in their arms. Satan took Him up aloft to the high mountain; evil men lifted Him up upon the Cross. He has not been in Thy arms, O Mother of God, since He was a child—but now thou hast a claim upon Him, when the world has done its worst. For thou art the all-favoured, all-blessed, all-gracious Mother of the Highest. We rejoice in this great mystery. He has been hidden in thy womb, He has lain in thy bosom, He has been suckled at thy breasts, He has been carried in thy arms—and now that He is dead, He is placed upon thy lap. Virgin Mother of God, pray for us.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

The Fourteenth Station:
Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre
V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world

JESUS, when He was nearest to His everlasting triumph, seemed to be farthest from triumphing. When He was nearest upon entering upon His kingdom, and exercising all power in heaven and earth, He was lying dead in a cave of the rock. He was wrapped round in burying-clothes, and confined within a sepulchre of stone, where He was soon to have a glorified spiritual body, which could penetrate all substances, go to and fro quicker than thought, and was about to ascend on high. Make us to trust in thee, O Jesus, that Thou wilt display in us a similar providence. Make us sure, O Lord, that the greater is our distress, the nearer we are to Thee. The more men scorn us, the more Thou dost honour us. The more men insult over us, the higher Thou wilt exalt us. The more they forget us, the more Thou dost keep us in mind. The more they abandon us, the closer Thou wilt bring us to Thyself.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

LET US PRAY

God, who by the Precious Blood of Thy only-begotten Son didst sanctify the standard of the Cross, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who rejoice in the glory of the same Holy Cross may at all times and places rejoice in Thy protection, through the same Christ, our Lord.

End with one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be, for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


THE WAY OF THE CROSS
From Medjugorje


Begin with an Act of Contrition.


Dearest Lord Jesus Christ let me join in spirit with your sorrowful mother Mary, following your agonising way of the cross. Help me by your grace that I may carry the cross which I deserve on account of my sins. Give me strength that I may not fall again not despair on my journey through life. Help me so that each station on the way of the cross may be a step forward on my way to heaven. Amen.

Choir:
Stood the mournful Mother weeping
At the Cross her station keeping
Seeing Her Son crucified

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ, and praise you.
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

FIRST STATION
Jesus is condemned to death
Let us visualise the scene of the innocent Jesus standing before the judge. Listen to all the false accusations whilst he remains silent. The excitable crowd which only a few days earlier hailed him as their king, now wildly shouts: "Crucify him, Crucify him!" He is sentenced and willingly accepts that sentence in order to redeem us from our sins.

Let us pray. Lord Jesus by my sins I have also contributed to that unjust sentence; I too have sentenced you to death by the sins of my life. Forgive me! Help me by your grace that I may accept patiently and with resignation whatever difficulties come my way to help me gain eternal salvation. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you

C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

SECOND STATION
Jesus receives the cross

Look at the heavy cross laid upon Jesus by his enemies. He is not carrying it because of himself but for our sakes and for the whole world. Our sins and those of all mankind are pressing upon his shoulders, but we do not mend our ways. Let us free ourselves as soon as possible from the heavy burden of sin in a contrite and sincere confession.

Let us pray, sweet Saviour, Jesus Christ, You have willingly accepted the cross laid upon your shoulders by my sins and the sins of mankind. Help me by your grace to reject sin in a spirit of true repentance. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Oh how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten Son.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
THIRD STATION
Jesus falls the first time under the cross

How grave are our sins! Under their burden falls he who with his omnipotent word holds the universe. He falls so that we may uplift ourselves from our sinful ways. Look at Jesus patiently enduring all the blows and insults. Yet we who deserve much more, complain and moan at the slightest inconvenience.

Let us pray. Innocent Jesus Christ, you fall under the burden of my sins that you may help me to my feet again. Give me strength dear Jesus never more to relapse into sin. By your grace grant that I may never again be separated from your love. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Is there one who would not weep,
Whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ's dear mother to behold?

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


FOURTH STATION
Jesus is met by His Blessed Mother

Look at the sight of the sorrowful Mother of Jesus weeping whilst following her Son. Consider her grief and broken heart in seeing Him so weary and disfigured. Who do you think has caused her so much pain? We, by our sins! Are we to cause more pain to the Mother of our Saviour by committing more sins? No, never again!

Let us pray, Dearest Jesus, for the sorrow you felt when meeting your Mother, I pray you to grant me a true devotion to your holy Mother. And you, 0 Mother of sorrows, help me always to be mindful of the passion of your Son that through his sufferings I may come to heaven. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


FIFTH STATION
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

Our Saviour is so exhausted that he is unable to carry the cross but hard-hearted men have no mercy. Jesus healed many sick people and restored to life many who were dead; now He needs help Himself, yet there is no one to come to his aid. So his enemies solved the problem: they forced Simon to help him carry the cross. Lucky Simon! How well are we carrying our cross?

Let us pray. My sweet Jesus, by your grace enlighten me that I may realise the infinite value of your cross. Help me to accept the cross that you may send me and to carry it for as long as you may wish. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Who could see that Mother's grief
without being saddened too,
While She suffers with her Son?

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


SIXTH STATION
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Amongst the crowd that witnessed the spectacle of Jesus in agony was a pious woman who took pity on Jesus. With her towel she wipes his bloodstained face. The Saviour rewards her by imprinting on it his own image. What a graphic portrait Saint Veronica received! Let us reflect often on that image.

Let us pray. Good Jesus by your sufferings you have saved my life; restore my soul to the spotless state of my baptismal day. Grant me a gentle heart like that of Saint Veronica, and imprint into my heart the memory of your passion. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
For the sins of all the people
Saw Jesus hang in desolation,
All with bloody scourges rent.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


SEVENTH STATION
Jesus falls the second time under the cross

Jesus has fallen again so that He may raise up each one of us and all mankind from the stain of &in. How painful must have been the wounds on his most holy body! But even more than his wounds, He suffers because of the sins that we keep on committing. Let us once and for all bend our proud heads; let us be truly humble and learn to bear patiently any cross, for the love of God and in penance for our sins.

Let us pray. Gentle Jesus, you have fallen again under the burden of the cross. For the sake of the pains you felt in that fall, I pray that you will deliver me from my sins and never let me fall again. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
See this most beloved Son,
dying there in desolation,
Till His Spirit forth He sent.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


EIGHTH STATION
Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

Pious women took pity on Jesus and were crying when they saw him covered with blood and wounds. But Jesus said to them: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not cry over me, but for yourselves and for your children". Jesus is telling us the same: "Do not cry over me, my son, but for you yourself and for your sins!" But where are our tears of sorrow for our sins?

Let us pray. Dear Jesus, you who prefer me to be sorry for my sins rather than to weep for your wounds, give me the grace to repent with a contrite heart for the sins and offences I have committed against you that I may be worthy to be happy with you in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
May the flame of my own heart,
Love Jesus your Son,
So that I may please Him.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


NINTH STATION
Jesus falls for the third time under the cross

Jesus falls for the third time under the cross, but does not give up his burden until he has completed the action of redemption. Why don't we want to carry the cross that leads us to heaven? In the cross is protection and defence, in the cross is life. in the cross is salvation. Let us, therefore, embrace the cross that we may gain eternal life.

Let us pray. Dear Jesus, in terrible agony you fell under the cross for the tfird time but got up again to embrace that heavy burden to coi-nplete the sacrifice for me; give me strength and perseverance to he most anxious for the salvation of my soul that by avoiding niortal sin I may not fall into the eternal abyss from which there is no escape. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Thy Son in torment on the cross,
Who for me was crucified
Let me share with thee his pain.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


TENTH STATION
Jesus is stripped of his garments

Look how the executioners of Jesus even took off his garments. What indignity! God who clothes everything stands naked! His holy and pure body is exposed to mockery. Because of our vanity and love of worldly things he has to suffer such shame; he has to be without clothes in order to clothe us with that innocence which we lost by impure thoughts, words and deeds.

Let us pray. Innocent Jesus who on Calvary was shamefully exposed, give me grace to renounce old bad habits and sinful desires. Help me so that whatever is sought after by evil-doers may be loathesome to me; thus you alone may be my true pleasure and consolation. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Let me mingle tears with thee
For Jesus dear, beloved,
All the days that I may live.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


ELEVENTH STATION
Jesus is nailed to the cross

Think how those barbarians pierce the sacred hands of Jesus with sharp nails, the hands that did so much good for people. Think how they pierce his feet on which he walked only for human salvation. What do we deserve, who do so much injustice with our hands? We who so often walk on the forbidden and sinful paths. We have to satisfy God's justice. It is better to do it in this earthly life than in the next.

Let us pray. I adore you Jesus and beg that through your sacred passion you may grant me a true and sincere repentance; let me mortify the sinful lusts of my body and ever be true to you. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Virgin of all virgins best!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share thy grief divine.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


TWELFTH STATION
Jesus dies on the Cross

In terrible agony the Saviour is hanging on the cross and still his executioners taunt and curse him. But he does not condemn them; on the contrary, he prays for them: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" Do we also forgive our enemies? Jesus died so that we may live. With his death, Jesus overcame death.

Let us pray. Patient Jesus who died on the cross, please draw me close to you on the holy cross! I do not deserve a happy death, but I pray you to be merciful to me because of your terrible death and grant that I may die with the cross in my hands and in your grace. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Let me be wounded with His wounds
Be saturated with His cross,
And with the blood of your dear Son.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


THIRTEENTH STATION
Jestis is taken down from the Cross

Let us contemplate the inexpressible grief of the Blessed Virgin Mary when they placed the dead body of her dear Son in her arms. Sin pierced her motherly heart with a sword of great sadness. Let us repent of our sins and have pity for the mother who suffers so much for us. Try to avoid failing again lest we inflict more suffering on her by our sins.

Let us pray. 0 sorrowful Mother of Jesus and my another! I beg you because of the bitter anguish you suffered when you received the dead body of your divin e Son into your arms, receive my soul as well into your motherly care at the moment of my death. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
Be to me, 0 Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die.
In His awful Judgement day.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


FOURTEENTH STATION
Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre

Pious Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus gave their last respects to the Saviour by laying his sacred body in a sepulchre, as yet unused. But the body of Jesus did not remain in the tomb; soon he rose with glory from death, body and soul together. We too will be laid to rest one day. Let our bodies be worn out by our good deeds and endeavours so that we too may rise gloriously to eternal life.

Let us pray. Jesus, the source of all life, through ,your resurrection let me rise to new life; by dying to sin let me rise to eternal life with you. Amen.

Our Father - Hail Mary - Glory be to the Father.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Choir:
While my body here decays,
May my soul thy goodness praise,
With your glory for ever.

C: Holy Mother hear my prayers, in my heart each wound renew, of Jesus my Saviour
Priest: We adore you 0 Christ and praise you
C: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.



FINAL PRAYER

Good Jesus, for the grace which you have given me through these devotions, accept this my prayer in memory of your suffering, in repentance for my sins and to the consolation and help of the holy souls in purgatory. Do not permit, Jesus, that the infinite sacrifice of your sacred blood be lost for me, but give me your grace and lead me from this life to eternal happiness. Amen.

Praised be Jesus Christ our crucified Redeemer and his sorrowful Mother Mary, under His Cross.




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Way of the Cross with the Holy Trinity
As used in the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada
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Opening Prayer
Loving God, you have created us for yourself to live in eternal union with you. You have knit us together in your own image, calling us to live in relationship just as You are in eternal loving relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Loving God, how often we look down upon ourselves, and how often we hurt our relationships with you and our sisters and brothers. We allow ourselves to give in to greed, selfishness, and individualism. We hurt our relationships and forget our true calling to love even as you have loved us. Through our own actions and attitudes we have contributed to the weight of Jesus' Cross. Loving God, come with us as we journey these fourteen steps of Jesus' passion. Through this time of prayer may we understand more deeply your unity with and love for us, and may we be strengthened to live in greater solidarity with you and with all our sisters and brothers made in your image. We pray in the name of Jesus, who lives eternally with you Father and Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.


First Station: Jesus is condemned to death Matt. 27: 1 — 2, 20 — 26

Jesus, the Son of God and King of Kings, is put on trial before his own creatures. Yet he stands silent. He will not fight against the argument of the Jewish leaders, even though He stands for the truth. The sentence is given: He is to be crucified. Jesus, I see all the many ways I have chosen to make myself judge over others. The times I have judged someone because of the way they dress, the color of their skin, or the country of their birth. Jesus, I have often judged others before I have even given them a chance to speak. Like you, they have been silent to my harsh judgment of them, while I have not taken the time to walk in their shoes. Holy Spirit, Jesus said that you would be the Advocate of his disciples. And yet it seems as if you had abandoned him in his time of need. Although it appears this way to our human eyes, the eyes of faith reveal that you were giving Jesus the strength he needed to remain silent and complete the Father's Will: to redeem all of humankind. Help me, Holy Spirit, to be strong during those times I am under criticism or judgment by others, so that I will always follow the Father's Will for me. Help me also to quiet my own mind when I am tempted to judge or look down upon another. May I see Jesus in them.


Second Station: Jesus is given his cross to carry Matt 27: 27 – 31

Jesus, through you all of creation is held in existence. However, in your incarnation you have taken on fully the weakness of our human condition. After being whipped until your back is lacerated to the bone, the weight of a heavy, splintered cross is thrown across your shoulders. Onlookers laugh as they see your legs weaken under the weight and the pain brought upon your back and shoulders. Jesus, you said that whoever follows you must be pre-pared to take up their cross daily and follow you. Yet so many times I have grumbled and complained at the little inconveniences of life. During times of sickness or disappointment I have become angry and bitter toward you, my God. I have even run away from bearing my cross by following the crowd, and not standing up to be counted as one of your followers. Loving Creator God, you saw the soldiers throw the weight of the cross onto the shoulders of your Son, your Beloved One. How you must have longed to relieve him of this burden, yet you did not do so because of your unfathomable love for us your children. Loving God, help us to always remember your tremendous love for us, especially during the times when we are asked to bear our own crosses in life.


Third Station: Jesus falls the first time Isaiah 53: 4 — 5

The soldiers push and prod Jesus with intensity, wanting to get him to the top of the hill to get their job done. This man Jesus meant nothing to them. He was just another political upstart like so many others who were considered a nuisance to the power of Rome. When Jesus fell, they did whatever they needed to get him up again: kicking, cursing, tugging on the rope tied around his waist. There was no time to rest or wait. They had a job to do, and that is all they cared about. Their own security was on the line. How many times I have fallen into the same trap as the Roman soldiers? I am just a number, just one position in a business, just one placeholder on the factory line. I want to get my day's work done, so I can get out of this place and enjoy myself. How often I have turned the other way when someone in my workplace needed help: when they have been overburdened with work, when they have had a loss in their family, when they seemed alone and have had no one to talk with or eat lunch with. "Its not my problem," I have thought, "I'm just here to do my job." But God has called me to serve others wherever I may be. Lord Jesus, I often look at the soldiers who are so cold, so uncaring, so nonchalant in their work of bringing your their Savior to his deathbed. But I have often acted in a similar manner whenever I have coldly and uncaringly turned away in apathy when someone has needed my concern. Lord Jesus, as I look at you fallen on the ground, I see how weak you are. My heart goes out to want to help you. Help me to have the same heart-felt compassion for those in my own midst who too are weak and need my help today.


Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother Psalm 22: 7 — 11

What an encouraging yet painful meeting this must have been for you, Lord Jesus. To see your mother's loving face amongst the other laughing and taunting faces in the crowd must have given you strength. Yet at the same time, how your heart must have been filled with pain knowing that her pain was as great as yours. The agony and anxiety filling her heart, seeing her little one being treated so inhumanely, must have been unbearable. How many times have I forgotten the pain of those who have endured the suffering and loss of a family member? I have sometimes felt that they should have gotten on with their lives long ago, and have forgotten the lingering pain associated with grief. Please help me, God, to be patient and consoling to those in grief for as long as their healing may take. Mary, Mother of the Son of God, how dearly you loved your Son. When all his closest disciples abandoned him and fled in fear, you stood by him to strengthen and console him. Mother Mary, show me the way to follow your example of constant faithfulness to your Son. And Mary, mother me too as I follow your way.


Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus carry the cross Matthew 27: 32

The soldiers see the weakness and exhaustion of Jesus. Their main goal is to ensure that this man, being paraded through the streets of Jerusalem, reaches his final destination where he will be executed: Golgotha. It would be a worse scandal for them if this man died along the way and never reached the top of that hill, than for him to die the humiliating public execution sentenced him. Not only this traitor of Caesar is to be taught a lesson, but also all those nearby who would even have thoughts of turning against the power of Rome. Jesus, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one with the Godhead in sustaining all creation in its order and existence, you are lowered to being completely dependant on one of your own creatures for help. Simon, an innocent bystander in the crowd, is forced into service by the intimidating soldiers. Simon helps, timidly and in fear, yet the help he gives to this prisoner is help given to the Son of God. From this moment forward, the story of Simon's help to God's Son would be retold for millennia to come. His simple act of relieving another's burden would become an important event in salvation history. Loving Father God, you see so much suffering and hardship endured by your children, and you call your followers to help even as Simon did. So often, though, you see our acceptance of your will done timidly and in fear of punishment if we do not do otherwise, rather than in acts of true selfless love. Loving Father, you have given us each other to be companions on our journey to your kingdom. Please forgive us for praying that your kingdom will come, yet not doing enough to work toward the fulfillment of the kingdom by our works of love and assistance.


Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus Isaiah 53: 2 — 7

What courage we see in the woman Veronica who decides to step out from the midst of the jeering crowd demanding the death of the Saviour, so that she could relieve him even slightly of the blood and sweat pouring down his face. She knows that her action involves risk. What will people say or do in response to her action of love for Jesus, this man who has been labeled blasphemer and traitor? The genuine love of her heart flows into action and sweeps away all concern about what others will think. She cannot be held back by fear. She bursts out of the angry mob to make in one small gesture a powerful sign that she wishes to be forever united with Jesus, and chooses him over the crowd's acceptance. Lord Jesus, it is this bold leap of faith and love for you that you desire from your disciples. So often, however, I carefully choose what I will say and do based on how others will perceive and accept me. I wear the clothes, drink the drinks, and drive the cars that will help me fit in and be popular. I accept the teachings of the advertisers that tell me that buying and having all these things will bring success, happiness, and love. Holy Spirit, Advocate of God's Little Ones, you inspire God's people to act justly, love tenderly, and walk closely with their God. You move your people to build a kingdom of justice and compassion, yet in our world rampant materialism exists next door to injustice, poverty, and oppression. We who have so much seem to stop our ears to your gentle whispers, inspiring us to break heavy yokes, and wipe the faces of those needing refreshment and relief. Help us, Spirit of the Living God, to be more like Veronica in reaching out fearlessly with care and compassion.


Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time Lamentations 3: 4 — 6

Lord Jesus, growing weaker with each step you take toward your destiny, how disabled you have become. The whipping you had received which other men never survived left you incredibly weak. As you are forced through the city streets, the heavy cross drags upon your tender back causing you to wince in new waves of pain. You fall, partly from tripping on the loose stones in the street beneath you, but also due to your incredible pain. Even though laying on the stony road provides an unexpected moment of rest, you know that your mission is not complete. With incredible fortitude, you get up and go on. Lord Jesus, I sometime allow my pains and inabilities to become excuses for not helping others or doing your work. I gripe and groan when burdens of this life get me down, and even lash out at you for bringing these upon me. Let me always look to your example so that I may keep steadfast in my Christian mission even when it may bring me discomfort or difficulty. Jesus, Son of God Made Flesh, you reveal to me in this station your complete unity with me in my humanity. You also give me hope that even when life seems to be too difficult because of burdens or trials, I should keep going on. As I have learned from your own journey, my own dedication and faithfulness will be rewarded with an eternity of glory.


Eighth Station: Jesus consoles the women Luke 23: 27 – 31

Loving Jesus, even in your darkest hour you did not abandon your concern and compassion for others. In the noisy crowd, you discerned the presence of the crying women, some with their children. Your heart must have been warmed to know that there were those in the crowd who were not rejoicing in your crucifixion. Yet, even while you were being comforted by their tears, you chose to live in the present moment and comfort them in preparation for what was to lie ahead. Your love and consolation was part of who you were, and didn't stop because you were being led to your death. Jesus, our compassionate High Priest, you call us to develop a nature of compassion and sensitivity that be-comes part of who we are. Our own trials and sorrows should not blind our eyes to the hurts of others. Oh God of all Consolation, help us to continue to love and care about the needs of others even when we are hurting. May we be good patients during our times of sickness, not lashing out when our needs are not met, but speaking kindly with nurses and doctors who care for us. Let us, in good times and bad, reveal our love for you and your people.


Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time Lamentations 3: 16 — 24

Jesus our love and our life, as you fall the third time you are so near to your own death. Your life blood has been pouring out from the lacerations on your back, and the heavy cross has become unbearable to carry. In this moment, laying lifelessly still on the pavement, you are immeasurably precious to God your Father. Even as you lay there with no strength left to give, the Father says: "This is my son, the beloved, on whom my favour rests." The desire in your heart to fulfill the Father's will empowers you to go on. Loving Jesus, we so easily fall prey to our society's belief that a person is worth only as much as they have or are able to produce. In this most vulnerable moment of your life, we realize that society's message is all wrong. Help us to treasure and show reverence to those who are disabled and those who have lost the vigour and memory of their youth. Let our actions reveal that they are our beloved ones. Holy Spirit, our Indwelling Guest, let us always see with the eyes of faith that each human life is of immeasurable importance because it is your Temple. Help us never to write someone off as unimportant because of their inabilities or their dependence upon others. Help us to see beyond what the eye can see to recognize that You, Holy Spirit continue to dwell long after our youthful vigour remains.


Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments 1 Peter 2: 21 – 24

Jesus, all that the Father has is yours. However at this moment, even the very last remnant of your earthly belongings are stripped away from you by your own creations. You stand humiliated before the people you so tenderly loved and reverenced. What have you done to deserve this? Why have we treated you with such cruelty? Oh Jesus, in this one instant along the path to your glorification, you reveal to all your believers the truth about life itself. True life and happiness does not exist in possessing material comforts or conveniences. Rather, true life is found in love. Even as you are stripped of all earthly belongings, the Father's love enfolds you and therefore you have more than any riches the world can afford. Beloved brother and Lord Jesus, your whole life pro-claims to us how we should live. We seemingly have gotten your message so mixed up, though. We choose to use people and abuse relationships in order to gain power, status, and prosperity. How much we have misunderstood your message and your life! We turn people's bodies into objects for our own pleasure, and we cut off relationships that won't pay off for our own advancement. Oh Jesus, please forgive us, and help us to believe that your path of life is the true way to peace and joy.


Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross Luke 23: 33 – 43

Loving Creator God, all that exists came into being by your willing. You created human beings, in your own image, to be stewards of the good earth you created. You gave us intelligence and strength to build and to work in the way that you yourself create and sustain. How patient you are, watching your creatures raise the tools which you yourself have given them the wisdom to make, as weapons of punishment and death for your own Beloved Son. As you watch and endure the pain your Son receives, you do so lovingly knowing that even this most horrible event of our rebellion will be used in your plan for our salvation. Oh God, have mercy on us for we have sinned so terribly. It is easy for us to reflect upon what `your creatures' have done to inflict humiliation and pain upon your Son. How-ever, we must admit that we in this time and place are part of the humanity that has committed such an atrocity. Oh Creator, Father God, we praise you for your unfathomable love for us that would willingly allow your Son to embrace the Cross for us your prodigal children. When-ever we feel the slightest twinges of self-righteousness or pride let us remember that we each have had a part to play in the brutal death of your Son. As St. Paul writes, "We have all sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God." Help us to remember our total reliance upon your mercy and love.


Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross Luke 23: 44 — 49

Jesus, my Lord and my God, you have proven to me and to all people of all times how much we are beloved by you. You could have said, "It is finished; enough of this!" before the soldiers came to arrest you in the garden. You are the all powerful Lord of Glory to whom all creation will bow in adoration. Yet you lovingly submitted yourself to your Father's will and into the power of human beings. You have revealed in this one action, this one moment in history, that there is nothing you will not do and give for us your beloved sisters and brothers. Your love has no bounds. It is not even limited by our sins. Loving Lord Jesus, so many times I fail to trust in your love. During times of stress or sickness I allow myself to become filled with anxiety and worry. I take my gaze away from the image I am now reflecting upon and place it upon my problems. Lord Jesus, when the struggles and trials of life seem to rise around me, help me to remember this image of you giving yourself completely and unreservedly for me. Help me, in every circumstance that life may bring me, to remember that you have carried the cross willingly for me, and that your love will never be taken away from me.


Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross Isaiah 53: 8 — 9, 12

The one chosen to be the mother of God's only Son, Mary cradles the lifeless body of her little one in her arms. She had lovingly carried this child in her womb, nursed him, taught him, and frantically searched for him when he was lost. She followed him as a faithful disciple, watching him heal from the compassion of his heart, offer people a new beginning from their former lives of sin, and give multitudes new direction and meaning through his teaching. Mary had watched her Son doing only good, helping and never hurting. It must have seemed like a nightmare to see Jesus mocked, abused, and executed as a criminal after all the selfless acts of love and compassion he worked. Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, you must have felt so helpless watching your Son being treated so cruelly by the ones he loved and cared for so deeply. Even in your helplessness you remained close to your Son. You believed that God would always remain faithful even though you didn't see God's hand in any of this horror. During my times of helplessness, let me trust with you in God's faithfulness. When I see my parents growing feeble, when my children grow up and make decisions I know will not bring them true happiness, and when a loved one struggles with the pain and anxiety of terminal illness, help me to remain close to them with courage and faith, even as you remained with your Son in hope and prayer.


Fourteenth Station: Jesus is buried Matthew 27: 57 – 60

Holy Spirit, eternally-united with the Father and the Son, you were the constant companion of Jesus throughout his life in our human history. You overshadowed Mary at Jesus' conception, inspired the young parents to flee in the night when the holy child's life was in danger, inspired Jesus with a wisdom that astounded the elders in the Temple, and continued to empower him with an authority never witnessed before and a power that even evil and death could not overcome. After Jesus' body was removed from the Cross, it was placed lifeless in the grave, and the tomb was sealed shut with a huge boulder. Even though all seemed lost and there was nothing left to hope for, yet you Holy Spirit continued to remain united with Jesus. While the world was sealed out of the tomb, yet you could not be shut out. Because of your presence and infinite power, Jesus would not remain life-less. Rather, "on the first day of the week" he would be infused with new life and resurrected glory. Holy Spirit, help me to know that I too am never alone. Even though it sometimes seems that no one understands what I am enduring, or that there is no way out of my situation of darkness, help me to know that you dwell with me and your power is at work even in the midst of my weakness and brokenness. Holy Spirit, help me also to recognize your presence in each person so that I can reverence you wherever I meet you. As you were present with your power to raise up the lifeless Christ, may I too use my power to help raise up those who are poor, powerless, and in pain.


Concluding Prayer
God, Father, Son, and Spirit, by accompanying me on this journey of fourteen steps you have strengthened my knowledge of who You are and who I am. You are a God of loving relationship, a oneness in being and love among Your three persons. You show me that there are no bounds to your generosity and love. You also reveal to me, through these stations, my true dignity in relationship with You. As Jesus himself was called, I too am your beloved child. There is nothing that you would withhold from me. You have given all so that I may be with you forever. As I continue in my daily journey, may I always remember my dignity as your beloved one. May I also pledge that I will care for and respect all people, knowing that they too are beloved and of infinite worth to You. Help me to follow your own example so that my love may not be limited, but that I may give my all in serving You and Your people.

About the author

Father Steven Wlusek is a Lecturer in Spirituality and Pastoral Theology at St. Peter's Seminary, London, Ontario, Canada. The Way of the Cross with the Holy Trinity flowed from his prayer, and powerful retreat experiences of solidarity with Jesus during his passion. The sketches illustrating each Station were also drawn during retreat. This Way of the Cross is shared with you so that you may experience, in your own prayer, a sense of unity with Jesus as he gave his all for you.




Unique Stations of the Cross at St Dominic's Church, Barbados

DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME

THY WILL BE DONE

FRIEND DO WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR

I DO NOT KNOW THE MAN

BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED

MY HANDS ARE CLEAN OF THIS MAN'S BLOOD

SURELY HE HAS BORNE OUR GRIEFS

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME

WEEP NOT FOR ME

FATHER FORGIVE THEM

WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON

JESUS REMEMBER ME

INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT

ALLELUIA, HE IS RISEN



Stations of the Cross - Way of the Cross
Via dolorosa as revealed to Saint Bridget by Our Lord

The 15 Prayers of Saint Bridget

Saint Bridget prayed for a long time to know how many blows Our Lord suffered during His terrible Passion. Rewarding her patience, one day He appeared to her and said:

"I received 5475 blows upon My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, recite fifteen Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Marys with the following Prayers, which I Myself shall teach you, for an entire year. When the year is finished, you will have honored each of My Wounds."

First Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary
O Jesus Christ! Eternal Sweetness to those who love Thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire, Salvation and Hope of all sinners, Who hast proved that Thou hast no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men, recall all the sufferings Thou hast endured from the instant of Thy conception, and especially during Thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from all eternity in the Divine plan.
Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Thy disciples, having washed their feet, Thou gavest them Thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time Thou didst sweetly console them, Thou didst foretell them Thy coming Passion.
Remember the sadness and bitterness which Thou didst experience in Thy Soul as Thou Thyself bore witness saying: "My Soul is sorrowful even unto death."
Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that Thou didst suffer in Thy delicate Body before the torment of the crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, Thou wast betrayed by Judas, Thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation Thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges during the flower of Thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.
Remember that Thou wast despoiled of Thy garments and clothed in those of derision; that Thy Face and Eyes were veiled, that Thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Thy Hands, that Thou was crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.
In memory of all these pains and sufferings which Thou didst endure before Thy Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins. Amen.

Second Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! True liberty of angels, Paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which Thou didst endure when Thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded Thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of-cruelties, tormented Thee at will. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech Thee, O my Savior, to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Thy protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen.

Third Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Creator of Heaven and earth whom nothing can encompass or limit, Thou Who dost enfold and hold all under Thy Loving power, remember the very bitter pain Thou didst suffer when the Jews nailed Thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and not finding Thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged Thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched Thy Body on the Cross, pulled Thee from all sides, thus dislocating Thy Limbs. I beg of Thee, O Jesus, by the memory of this most Loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear Thee and to Love Thee. Amen. Fourth Prayer Our Father - Hail Mary O Jesus! Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine. From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet, forgetting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy Heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.

Fifth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Mirror of eternal splendor, remember the sadness which Thou experienced, when contemplating in the light of Thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy Sacred Passion, Thou didst see at the same time, the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless lost and unfortunate sinners.
Through the abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which Thou displayed to the good thief when Thou saidst to him: "This day, thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, Thou wilt show me mercy. Amen.

Sixth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Beloved and most desirable King, remember the grief Thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, Thou was fastened and raised on the Cross, when all Thy relatives and friends abandoned Thee, except Thy Beloved Mother, who remained close to Thee during Thy agony and whom Thou didst entrust to Thy faithful disciple when Thou saidst to Mary: "Woman, behold thy son!" and to Saint John: "Son, behold thy Mother!"
I beg of Thee O my Savior, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my affliction and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.

Seventh Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, Who by a profound gesture of Love, said from the Cross: "I thirst!" suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of Thee O my Savior, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts; and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desires. Amen.

Eighth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which Thou didst taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that they may serve as a remedy and consolation for our souls. Amen.

Ninth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain Thou didst endure when plunged in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the Jews, Thou didst cry out in a loud voice that Thou was abandoned by Thy Father, saying: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
Through this anguish, I beg of Thee, O my Savior, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.

Tenth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou was plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of Thy Feet to the crown of Thy Head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee. Amen.

Eleventh Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of Thee, in memory of Thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Thy Bones and to the depth of Thy Being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offenses, away from sin and to hide me from Thy Face justly irritated against me, hide me in Thy Wounds, until Thy anger and just indignation shall have passed away. Amen.

Twelfth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Mirror of Truth, symbol of unity, link of Charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which Thou was covered from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Thy adorable Blood. O Great and Universal Pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy virginal Flesh for Love of us! Sweetest Jesus! What is there that Thou couldst have done for us which Thou hast not done! May the fruit of Thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Thy Passion, and may Thy Love increase in my heart each day, until I see Thee in eternity, Thou Who art the treasury of every real good and every joy, which I beg Thee to grant me, O Sweetest Jesus, in Heaven. Amen.

Thirteenth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Strong Lion, Immortal and Invincible King, remember the pain which Thou didst endure when all Thy strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted, Thou didst bow Thy Head, saying: "It is consummated!"
Through this anguish and grief, I beg of Thee Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.

Fourteenth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! Only Son of the Father, Splendor and figure of His Substance, remember the simple and humble recommendation Thou didst make of Thy Soul to Thy Eternal Father, saying: "Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit!" And with Thy Body all torn, and Thy Heart Broken, and the bowels of Thy Mercy open to redeem us, Thou didst Expire. By this Precious Death, I beg of Thee O King of Saints, comfort me and help me to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that being dead to the world I may live for Thee alone. I beg of Thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to Thee. Amen.

Fifteenth Prayer

Our Father - Hail Mary

O Jesus! True and fruitful Vine! Remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which Thou didst so generously shed from Thy Sacred Body as juice from grapes in a wine press.
From Thy Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth until there was not left in Thy Body a single drop, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh lifted to the top of the Cross Thy delicate Flesh was destroyed, the very Substance of Thy Body withered, and the Marrow of Thy Bones dried up.
Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Thy Precious Blood, I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, to receive my soul when I am in my death agony. Amen.

Conclusion

O Sweet Jesus! Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habitation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever.




The Stations of the Cross
The First Station
JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

With angry hearts and hatred on their faces, they poked at Jesus and condemned Jesus to death. He stood so silent, His hands tied, in perfect peace, because He knew the Father's love. He knew the Father's will. We too will stand our trials in peace, the more we realize the immense love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for us. We must pray to the Spirit to transform us more and more into His image and, through this transformation, we will be led ever closer to the Father. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Second Station
THEY GIVE JESUS THE CROSS

They gave Jesus a heavy cross, laden with the sins of the world. They placed it on His shoulder. It was so heavy He felt as if His shoulder would break. He asks us to carry little crosses, to experience little pains. He could not remove this cross from His shoulder. The weight was unbearable. It is through His suffering and death that we receive new life. It is through our sufferings this day that we will grow in our life with Jesus. Jesus loves us so much that He took up the cross of salvation. He loves us. To His death He loved us. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Third Station
JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

The cross was so heavy Jesus could hardly walk. He held on to His cross for greatest love of us and in compliance with the will of His Father. It became so hard to walk! The cross was so heavy! He fell. He fell and the cross fell on Him. They poked at Him, they struck Him, they demanded He get up. The pain from the instruments they used to poke Him and strike Him was so great! He somehow managed to get up. When we fall under the weight of our cross, we go to Jesus' Eucharistic Heart. He is no less present in the tabernacle and in the Eucharist than on the day He carried His cross. He waits with the same love that He had for us when He carried His cross and suffered such agony. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Fourth Station
JESUS AND MARY MEET

Jesus saw the face of His beautiful Mother. She was weak, her face reddened and full of tears. He saw her tender heart, her love, her anguish, her pain. He saw His dear Mother Mary. His Heart was comforted by the sight of her, but torn by her suffering.
As Mary looked into the eyes of her beloved Son, she saw His love. His head, bleeding and wounded. His body weak. His clothes covered with blood. She looked into His eyes and she saw His love for us. She wants to call us back to the love of her Son. See through her eyes, as she peers into His eyes, the love He has for us this day. He gave Himself for us. Oh, He loves us so much. We are Mary's little children. See through Mary's eyes the love of her Son. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Fifth Station
SIMON OF CYRENE IS FORCED TO HELP JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS

The cross was so heavy Jesus could not move. His persecutors became angry and forced a man to help Him. The cross was so heavy the two of them could barely move it. How is our cross today? Does it seem so heavy we cannot go on? He is forever watching us. When we are suffering the greatest, He is very close to us. It is in immense suffering that we realize His great love for us. Pray for grace to do always the Father's Will. Pray for grace to grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus.

The Sixth Station
VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

Jesus' face was covered with blood. From the crowd Veronica came forward with a cloth to wipe His face. On the cloth Jesus gave to us an imprint of His bloodied face. This remains with us this day as a sign of His immense love for us. But more than any cloth, look beyond the visible consecrated host. Jesus remains with us, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist this day, waiting and longing to be with us. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Seventh Station
JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME

As Jesus went on the way to Calvary, it became harder and harder to walk. The cross was becoming heavier, His body weaker and weaker. His shoulders and arms hurt so much! His head throbbed as He walked. The blood came from His body, from His head to His feet. He was covered with open wounds. He could not go any farther. He stumbled and fell. Again they poked at Him, only harder, and with such hatred they kicked Him. Such vileness in the hearts of men! His greatest agony was not the agonies of His body, but the agonies of His heart for the love He has for all His precious souls. He loved them so dearly. He loved those who persecuted Him. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Eighth Station
JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

The women came to Jesus with their children, their tender hearts crying and wanting to comfort Him. He saw their love, their care. He saw the coldness of men's hearts for all time, the hatred, the anger, the sins, all the souls that, despite all of His sufferings and death, would be condemned to eternal damnation. He told the women to weep not for Him, but for themselves and their children. His greatest agonies were the agonies of His Most Sacred Heart. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Ninth Station
JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

Jesus fell hard the third time. He was so weakened He could not go on. His body collapsed under the cross from such exhaustion! Jesus' greatest agonies were not the wounds to His body. They were the wounds He experienced to His heart. Do we not realize how much Jesus loves us? It is in meditating on His Passion and death that we will realize His immense love for us. When we fall, when we struggle, Jesus gives us the grace to get up. Jesus never gives us more than we can handle. Our strength will come from Jesus. Come to Jesus' Eucharistic Heart. He is waiting for us this day. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Tenth Station
JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

They took Jesus to the hill to crucify Him. They angrily stripped Jesus of His garments. They took off Jesus' clothes to whip Him. They had covered Jesus' bloody wounds with a dirty purple robe. Now, total surrender-they took off Jesus' clothes. He showed us the way to surrender, always complying with the will of the Father. It is in living in His will that we will have peace and joy, and life eternal some day. Oh, how Jesus loves us!

The Eleventh Station
THEY NAIL JESUS TO THE CROSS

See Mary as she holds the little Baby Jesus. See her as she washes His tender hands and feet. See her now as she watches as they pound into those same hands and feet the gigantic nails that fix Jesus to the cross. Mary's heart was torn in her chest as they nailed His hands and feet to the cross. She asks us this day to walk the Passion with Him. See through her eyes the love He has for us. He truly was nailed to the cross. They pounded the nails into Jesus' first hand, then they stretched His body and nailed His other hand. The blood poured from these wounds, that went totally through Jesus' hands. His pain was so immense, but then they nailed His feet! We do not know what pain He suffered. For each one of us He suffered this pain.

The Twelfth Station
JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

(Silence.)
Jesus hung for three agonizing hours on the cross against the darkened sky. His greatest agonies were not the agonies of His body, but those of His Heart for the great love He has for each and every soul. He gave Himself to us. He gave His all. He hung with His arms spread in total surrender. Jesus' head was punctured; His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. He gave Himself to us. He gives Himself to us this day in the Eucharist. Jesus gives us Himself! What more do we want? Song: I Love You Jesus...

They pierced His Heart with a lance and what flowed forth was blood and water, the sacramental life of the Church, water for Baptism and blood for the Eucharist.

The Thirteenth Station
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS AND PLACED IN THE ARMS OF HIS MOTHER

They placed the lifeless body of Jesus in the arms of His most loving Mother. As she had held the little baby body in her arms, she now received His bloodied, bruised body. This is how He obeyed the Father's will. Jesus gave His life for us. The Father gave His only Son because He loves us so much. Mary, His Mother, our Mother and the Mother of the Church, is forever by His side. See Jesus in the arms of His loving Mother under the cross. This is love. Mary held His lifeless body in her arms. See through Mary's eyes the love He has for us this day. He gives Himself to us today in the Eucharist. Jesus loves us so much!

The Fourteenth Station
JESUS IS LOCKED IN THE TOMB

The enemies of Jesus rolled the stone up to the tomb and were pleased to have buried Him. Mary, outside the tomb, wept bitterly. The cold reality that He was dead! But death has no power over Jesus, for on the third day He rose, triumphant, from the tomb! We are partakers in His divine life. Death has no power over Jesus. He is with us this day. He comes to bring us life to the full. Jesus loves us so much!





The First Station: Jesus Is Condemned To Death

My Jesus, the world still has You on trial. It keeps asking who You are and why You make the demands You make. It asks over and over the question, If You are God's Son, why do You permit the world to be in the state it is in? Why are You so silent?
Though the arrogance of the world angers me, I must admit that silently, in the depths of my soul, I too have these questions. Your humility frustrates me and makes me uncomfortable. Your strength before Pilate as You drank deeply from the power of the Father, gives me the answer to my question - The Father's Will. The Father permits many sufferings in my life but it is all for my good. If only I too could be silent in the face of worldly prudence - steadfast in the faith when all seems lost - calm when accused unjustly - free from tyranny of human respect - ready to do the Father's Will no matter how difficult.
Silent Jesus, give us all the graces we need to stand tall in the face of the ridicule of the world. Give the poor the strength not to succumb to their privation but to be ever aware of their dignity as sons of God. Grant that we might not bend to the crippling disease of worldly glory but be willing to be deprived of all things rather than lose Your friendship. My Jesus, though we are accused daily of being fools, let the vision of Quiet Dignity standing before Monstrous Injustice, give us all the courage to be Your followers.
Amen


The Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross

How could any human impose such a burden upon Your torn and bleeding body, Lord Jesus? Each movement of the cross drove the thorns deeper into Your Head. How did You keep the hatred from welling up in Your Heart? How did the injustice of it all not ruffle your peace? The Father's Will was hard on You - Why do I complain when it is hard on me?
I see injustice and am frustrated and when my plans to alleviate it seems futile, I despair. When I see those burdened with poverty suffer ever more and cross is added to cross my heart is far from serene. I utterly fail to see the dignity of the cross as it is carried with love. I would so much rather be without it.
My worldly concept is that suffering, like food, should be shared equally. How ridiculous I am, dear Lord. Just as we do not all need the same amount of material food, neither do we need the same amount of spiritual food and that is what the cross is in my life, isn't it - spiritual food proportional to my needs.
Amen


The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

My Jesus, it seems to me, that as God, You would have carried Your cross without faltering, but You did not. You fell beneath it's weight to show me You understand when I fall. Is it pride that makes me want to shine even in pain? You were not ashamed to fall- to admit the cross was heavy. There are those in world whom my pride will not tolerate as I expect everyone to be strong, yet I am weak. I am ashamed to admit failure in anything.
If the Father permits failure in my life just as He permitted You to fall, then I must know there is good in that failure which my mind will never comprehend. I must not concentrate on the eyes of others as they rest upon me in my falls. Rather, I must reach up to touch that invisible hand and drink in that invisible strength ever at my side.
Weak Jesus, help all men who try so hard to be good but whose nature is constantly opposed to them walking straight and tall down the narrow road of life. Raise their heads to see the glory that is to come rather than the misery of the present moment.
Your love for me gave You strength to rise from Your fall. Look upon all those whom the world considers unprofitable servants and give them the courage to be more concerned as to how they stand before You, rather than their fellowmen.
Amen


The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother

My Jesus, it was a great sorrow to realize Your pain caused Mary so much grief. As Redeemer, You wanted her to share in Your pain for mankind. When You glanced at each other in unutterable suffering, what gave you both the courage to carry on without the least alleviation - without anger at such injustice?
It seems as if you desired to suffer every possible pain to give me an example of how to suffer when my time comes. What a humiliation for You when Your mother saw you in such a pitiable state - weak - helpless - at the mercy of sinful men - holiness exposed to evil in all hideousness.
Did every moment of that short encounter seem like an eternity? As I see so much suffering in the world, there are times I think it is all hopeless. There is an element of lethargy in my prayers for mankind that says "I'll pray, but what good will it do? The sick grow sicker and the hungry starve. " I think of that glance between You and Mary - the glance that said, "Let us give this misery to the Father for the salvation of souls. The Father's power takes our pain and frustration and renews souls, saves them for a new life - a life of eternal joy, eternal happiness. It is worth it all." Give perseverance to the sick so they can carry the cross of frustration and agony with love and resignation for the salvation of others.
Amen


The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

My Jesus, Your tormentors enlisted a Simon of Cyrene to help You carry Your cross.Your humility is beyond my comprehension. Your power upheld the whole universe and yet You permit one of Your creatures to help You carry a cross. I imagine Simon was reluctant to take part in Your shame. He had no idea that all who watched and jeered at him would pass into oblivion while his name would go down in history and eternity as the one who helped his God in need. Is it not so with me, dear Jesus? Even when I reluctantly carry my cross as Simon did, it benefits my soul.
If I keep my eyes on You and watch how You suffered, I will be able to bear my cross with greater fortitude.Were you trying to tell all those who suffer from prejudice to have courage? Was Simon a symbol of all those who are hated because of race, color and creed?
Simon wondered as he took those beams upon his shoulders, why he was chosen for such a heavy burden and now he knows. Help me Jesus, to trust your loving Providence as you permit suffering to weave itself in and out of my life. Make me understand that You looked at it and held it fondly before You passed it on to me. You watch me and give me strength just as You did Simon. When I enter Your Kingdom, I shall know as he knows, what marvels Your Cross has wrought in my soul.
Amen


The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

My Jesus, where were all the hundreds of peoples whose bodies and souls were healed by you? Where were they when You needed someone to give You the least sign of comfort? Ingratitude must have borne down upon Your heart and made the cross nearly impossible to carry. There are times I too feel all my efforts for Your Kingdom are futile and end in nothingness. Did your eyes roam through the crowd for the comfort of just one individual - one sign of pity - one sign of grief?
My heart thrills with a sad joy when I think of one woman, breaking away from fear and human respect and offeringYou her thin veil to wipe Your bleeding Face. Your loving heart, ever watching for the least sign of love, imprinted the Image of your torn Face upon it! How can You forget Yourself so completely and reward such a small act of kindness?
I must admit, I have been among those who were afraid to know You rather than like Veronica. She did not care if the whole world knew she loved You. Heartbroken Jesus, give me that quality of the soul so necessary to witness to spread Your Word - to tell all people of Your love for them. Send many into Your Vineyard so the people of all nations may receive the Good News. Imprint Your Divine Image upon my soul and let the thin veil of my human nature bear a perfect resemblance to your loving Spirit.
Amen


The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls A Second Time

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities the people admired in You was Your strength in time of ridicule - Your ability to rise above the occasion. But now, You fall a second time - apparently conquered by the pain of the Cross. People who judged You by appearances made a terrible mistake. What looked like weakness was unparalleled strength!
I often judge by appearances and how wrong I am most of the time. The world judges entirely by this fraudulent method of discerning. It looks down upon those who apparently have given their best and are now in need. It judges the poor as failures, the sick as useless and the aged as a burden. How wrong that kind of judgment is in the light of your second fall! Your greatest moment wasYour weakest one. Your greatest triumph was in failure. Your greatest act of love was in desolation. Your greatest show of power was in that utter lack of strength that threw You to the ground.
Weak and powerful Jesus, give me the grace to see beyond what is visible and be more aware of Your Wisdom in the midst of weakness. Give the aged, sick, handicapped, retarded, deaf and blind the fruit of joy so they may ever be aware of the Father's gift and the vast difference between what the world sees and what the Father sees that they may glory in their weakness so the power of God may be manifest.
Amen


The Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Holy Women

My Jesus, I am amazed at Your compassion for others in Your time of need. When I suffer, I have a tendency to think only of myself but You forgot Yourself completely. When You saw the holy women weeping over Your torments, You consoled them and taught them to look deeper into Your Passion. You wanted them to understand that the real evil to cry over was the rejection You suffered from the Chosen people - a people set apart from every other nation, who refused to accept God's Son.
The Act of Redemption would go on and no one would ever be able to take away Your dignity as Son of God, but the evil, greed, jealousy and ambition in the hearts of those who should have recognized You was the issue to grieve over. To be so close to God made man and miss Him completely was the real crime.
My Jesus, I fear I do the same when I strain gnats and then swallow camels - when I take out the splinter in my brother's eye and forget the beam in my own. It is such a gift - this gift of faith. It is such a sublime grace to possess Your own Spirit. Why haven't I advanced in holiness of life? I miss the many disguises you take upon Yourself and see only people, circumstances and human events, not the loving hand of the Father guiding all things. Help all those who are discouraged, sick, lonely and old to recognize Your Presence in their midst.
Amen


The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

My Jesus, even with the help of Simon You fell a third time. Were You telling me that there may be times in my life that I will fall again and again despite the help of friends and loved ones? There are times when the crosses You permit in my life are more than I can bear. It is as if all the sufferings of a life time are suddenly compressed into the present moment and it is more than I can stand.
Though it grieves my heart to see You so weak and helpless, it is a comfort to my soul to know that you understand my sufferings from Your own experience. Your love for me made You want to experience every kind of pain just so I could have someone to look to for example and courage.
When I cry out from the depths of my soul, "This suffering is more than I can bear," do You whisper, "Yes, I understand"? When I am discouraged after many falls, do you say in my innermost being, "Keep going, I know how hard it is to rise"?
There are many people who are sorely tried in body and soul with alcohol and drug weaknesses who try and try and fall again and again. Through the humiliation of this third fall, give them the courage and perseverance to take up their cross and follow you.
Amen


The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

It seems that every step to Calvary brought You fresh humiliation, my Jesus. How Your sensitive nature recoiled at being stripped before a crowd of people. You desired to leave this life as You entered it - completely detached from all the comforts of this world. You want me to know without a doubt that you loved me with an unselfish love. Your love for me caused You nothing but pain and sorrow. You gave everything and received nothing in return. Why do I find it so hard to be detached?
In your loving mind, dear Jesus, did You look up to the Father as You stood there on that windy hill, shivering from cold and shame and trembling from fear, and ask Him to have mercy on those who would violate their purity and make love a mockery? Did you ask forgiveness for those whose greed would make them lie, cheat and steal for a few pieces of cold silver?
Forgive us all, dear Jesus. Look upon the world with pity, for mankind has lost its way and the principles of this world make lust a fun game and luxury a necessity. Detachment has become merely another hardship of the poor and obedience the fault of the weak. Have mercy on us and grant the people of this day the courage to see and know themselves and the light to change.
Amen


The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

It is hard to imagine a God being nailed to a cross by His own creatures. It is even more difficult for my mind to understand a love that permitted such a thing to happen! As those men drove heavy nails into Your hands and feet, dear Jesus, did You offer the pain as reparation for some particular human weakness and sin? Was the nail in Your right hand for those who spend their lives in dissipation and boredom?
Was the nail in Your left hand in reparation for all consecrated souls who live lukewarm lives? Were You stretching out Your arms to show us how much You love us? As the feet that walked the hot, dusty roads were nailed fast, did they cramp up in a deadly grip of pain to make reparation for all those who so nimbly run the broad road of sin and self-indulgence?
It seems, dear Jesus, Your love has held You bound hand and foot as Your heart pleads for a return of love. You seem to shout from the top of the hill "I love you - come to me - see, I am held fast - I cannot hurt you - only you can hurt Me." How very hard is the heart that can see such love and turn away. Is it not true I too have turned away when I did not accept the Father's Will with love? Teach me to keep my arms ever open to love, to forgive and to render service - willing to be hurt rather than hurt, satisfied to love and not be loved in return.
Amen


The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

God is dead! No wonder the earth quaked, the sun hid itself, the dead rose and Mary stood by in horror. Your human body gave up it's soul in death but Your Divinity, dear Jesus, continued to manifest its power. All creation rebelled as the Word made Flesh departed from this world. Man alone was too proud to see and too stubborn to acknowledge truth.
Redemption was accomplished! Man would never have an excuse to forget how much You loved him. The thief on Your right saw something he could not explain - he saw a man on a tree and knew He was God. His need made him see his own guilt and Your innocence. The Promise of eternal life made the remaining hours of his torture. endurable.
A common thief responded to Your love with deep Faith, Hope, and Love. He saw more than his eyes envisioned - he felt a Presence he could not explain and would not argue with. He was in need and accepted the way God designed to help him.
Forgive our pride, dear Jesus as we spend hours speculating, days arguing and often a lifetime in rejecting Your death, which is a sublime mystery. Have pity on those whose intelligence leads them to pride because they never feel the need to reach out to the Man of Sorrows for consolation.
Amen


The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross

My Jesus, it was with deep grief that Mary finally took You into her arms and saw all the wounds sin had inflicted upon You. Mary Magdalene looked upon Your dead Body with horror. Nicodemus, the man so full of human respect, who came to You by night, suddenly received the courage to help Joseph take you down from the Cross. You are once more surrounded by only a few followers. When loneliness and failure cross my path, let me think of this lonely moment and this total failure - failure in the eyes of men. How wrong they were - how mistaken their concept of success! The greatest act of love was given in desolation and the most successful mission accomplished and finished when all seemed lost. Is this not true in my life, dear Jesus? I judge my failures harshly. I demand perfection instead of holiness. My idea of success is for all to end well - according to my liking.
Give to all men the grace to see that doing Your Will is more important than success. If failure is permitted for my greater good then teach me how to use it to my advantage. Let me say as You once said, that to do the Will of the Father is my food. Let not the standards of this world take possession of me or destroy the good You have set for me - to be Holy and to accomplish the Father's Will with great love. Let me accept praise or blame, success or failure with equal serenity.
Amen


The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher

My Jesus, You were laid to rest in a stranger's tomb. You were born with nothing of this world's goods and You died detached from everything. When You came into the world, men slept and angels sang and now as You leave it, Creation is silent and only a few weep. Both events were clothed in obscurity. The majority of men live in such a way. Most of us live and die knowing and known by only a few. Were You trying to tell us, dear Jesus, how very important our lives are just because we are accomplishing the Father's Will? Will we ever learn the lesson of humility that makes us content with who we are, where we are and what we are?
Will our Faith ever be strong enough to see power in weakness and good in the sufferings of our lives? Will our Hope be trusting enough to rely on Your Providence even when we have nowhere to lay our head? Will our Love ever be strong enough not to take scandal in the cross?
My Jesus, hide my soul in Your heart as You lie in the Sepulcher alone. Let my heart be as a fire to keep you warm. Let my desire to know and love You be like a torch to light up the darkness. Let my soul sing softly a hymn of repentant love as the hours pass and Your Resurrection is at hand. Let me rejoice, dear Jesus, with all the Angels in a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for so great a love- so great a God- so great a day!
Amen