Little thoughts along the Way of the Cross

“So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” (Eph 5: 1–2, NAB)

Think this way: even if I were the only person on earth who needed redemption, Jesus would have suffered and died for me. St. Paul wrote that the Son of God “has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20, NAB)

Don’t wait until Lent to pray the Way of the Cross. Come close to Jesus daily by spending a few short moments with him in a manner similar to the illustration below. Ask him to teach you what to think about him, what to learn from him, how you can be like him, in what way you are already following in his footsteps, how you have used his good example to deal with conflicts in your family, in the work place, with acquaintances, and with those who treat you as an enemy. Share with him your joys, your sorrows, your concerns of the day. Thank him.

It is true that this version does not carry with it any plenary indulgence from the Church. If you want, you can pray a version to which an indulgence is attached. How often you do that each year is up to you to count.

Every Catholic church has the fourteen Stations of the Cross displayed prominently on the walls. Why is this?

 

1st  Station

Jesus, at the time when you were condemned and sentenced to death, no Gospel had been compiled and no theological treatises had been written to expound on what you were doing. You faced your sacrifice silently, with no explanation to anyone. Never once did you fight back, or look for sympathy. You knew what you had to do, but no one else did.

 

2nd  Station

Jesus, you were insulted, beaten, and made to shoulder the cross. The spectators regarded you as a disgraced failure. No matter what people thought, you persisted on your sacred mission. Without telling your foes you were doing the greatest good for them. You bore no bitterness or hatred. You remained constantly meek and humble of heart. You cared not for prestige.

3rd  Station

Jesus, after an all-night ordeal of brutality and torment, you collapsed. You could have used this fall as an excuse to call off the rest of the undertaking; but you got up and pressed onward.

 

4th Station

Jesus, your Mother prayed: “Father, our Son’s Passion is excruciatingly agonizing. Please have mercy and reduce the time of his suffering by giving the same to me also.”

 

5th Station

Jesus, you accepted help from a stranger. Even though he was only forced into giving you a hand, in return you inspired the evangelists to include in the Bible his name and those of his sons and his village. Lord, how much more will you reward those who do things for you voluntarily!

 

6th Station

Jesus, you honoured Veronica by giving to her your personal image. Going against the current, and without the slightest concern for her own reputation and safety, she braved the wrath of the soldiers and the crowds. Forever after, whoever is devoted to you with selfless bravery will become more and more your true icon in heart and mind and soul.

 

7th Station

Jesus, you were whipped and pushed, and fell a second time. You got back on our feet, not because you were coerced, but because of your immense love for me and your desire to save me.

 

8th Station

Jesus, you always respected women, never taking advantage of them or preying on their sympathy and affection. Even in your own hour of need, you made sure to remind them to take care.

In the four gospels, I have seen how kindly you treated mothers, widows, little girls and women of all ages – sinners and the virtuous alike. You were always so thoughtful and considerate towards each one of them.

 

9th Station

Jesus, you summoned up your last ounce of energy to complete your mission for my sake.

Thank you.

 

10th Station

Jesus, you submitted yourself to humiliation on my behalf; that is why, time and time again, even when I could have been put me to shame, I wasn’t.

For your love does not apply solely to my life after death. Your love is concerned with every situation in my life now. Never should I live in darkness, with a shadow hanging over my head. When I surrender each difficulty into your hands, the light of your aid shines on all seemingly unsolvable problems.

Thank you, Lord.

 

11th Station

Jesus, you endured the unbearable pains so that I do not have to suffer overly much. Lord, every time I ask, you deliver me from all tribulations – mental, physical and spiritual. You never fail me. Thank you.

 

12th Station

Jesus, because of your agony and death on the cross I won’t end up in Hell, nor will I have to stay in Purgatory for very long. Thank you.

 

13th Station

Jesus, why did you create me? For Heaven, of course! Nothing less! Without consulting me, you fashioned me; was it for suffering or for disaster? Certainly not! You are God, what you do must be for good. It cannot be otherwise.

Thank you for creating me and redeeming me from my sins, keeping the door open for me to live in eternal happiness. Thank you for directing me back onto the right path every step of the way.

 

14th Station

Jesus, with the help of your grace, I resolve not to sin against you anymore. I resolve to live in simplicity and humility, with complete trust in your unsurpassing kindness towards me.

Jesus and private prayer

Yes, it is good to pray with family and friends and parishioners, or in prayer groups, or at charismatic meetings and conferences… It can be very fruitful, and often a lot of fun, especially when accompanied by instrumental music and the raising of hands. Still, sometimes, do as Jesus did: pray alone in secret!

Near the beginning of his ministry in Capernaum, after teaching in a synagogue, Jesus drove out an unclean spirit from a man, and, on the same day cured Simon’s mother-in-law of a severe fever. That evening, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town gathered at the door, and he drove out many demons and healed many who had various diseases. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk 1:35, NIV)

“In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.” (Lk 6: 12-13, NAB) Only after this, when day came, did he call his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles.

As soon as Jesus finished feeding the five thousand by multiplying two fish and five loaves, he made his disciples get into the boat, and dismissed the crowds. “After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” (Mt 14:23, NAB)

After healing a leper, Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Lk 5:15-16, NIV)

 

Jesus teaches: “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt 6:5-8, NAB)

Our Lady's message through Mirjana on July 2nd, 2016

“Dear children, my real, living presence among you should make you happy because this is the great love of my Son. He is sending me among you so that, with a motherly love, I may grant you safety; that you may comprehend that pain and joy, suffering and love, make your soul live intensely; that I may call you anew to glorify the Heart of Jesus, the heart of faith, the Eucharist. From day to day through the centuries, my Son, alive, returns among you – He returns to you, though He has never left you. When one of you, my children, returns to Him, my motherly heart leaps with joy. Therefore, my children, return to the Eucharist, to my Son. The way to my Son is difficult, full of renunciations, but at the end, there is always the light. I understand your pains and sufferings, and with motherly love I wipe your tears. Trust in my Son, because He will do for you what you would not even know how to ask for. You, my children, you should be concerned only for your soul, because it is the only thing on earth that belongs to you. You will bring it, dirty or clean, before the Heavenly Father. Remember, faith in the love of my Son will always be rewarded. I implore you, in a special way, to pray for those whom my Son called to live according to Him and to love their flock. Thank you.”

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