src="" alt="website stat" border="0">

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Way of the Cross - the way of the soul

I Station: The Condemnation of Jesus by Pilate

Often the soul begins the journey to Christ through the sufferings imposed upon her from the world: sickness, failure, or sadness.
Spiritual realities can also begin the way of the soul: sadness due to sin and the realization of death.

II Station: Jesus' acceptance of the cross

As soon as the soul recognizes the limitations this world has to offer, she begins to follow in the footsteps of the true Master of the soul, she begins the Way of the Cross.

III Station: The First Fall

The Way of the Master is difficult. The soul encounters failure. She began the journey to Christ on her own power. She needs to be humbled to realize who is the Master and who is the follower.

IV Station: Jesus meets His Mother (John 19:25-26)

A fall allows us to know the great compassion of the Mother. Our Lord sends Her to us when we throw ourselves at His Feet. She will be our companion along the way.

V Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Carry the Cross
(Matt. 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26)

With Our Lady’s encouragement, the soul now begins to turn to heavenly help and not rely upon its own power. The soul begins to carry the Cross in earnest.

VI Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

With practice, the soul’s efforts at penance and carrying the Cross give comfort to Lord – even publicly. Veronica pushed her way through the crowd, undaunted by their jeering. She had one thing in mind, to offer a small comfort to the Lord despite the price she had to pay.

VII Station: The Second Fall

Pride can enter here easily. The soul forgets Whose work this is.
The soul forgets Whose power sustains it.

VIII Station: The Sorrowing Women of Jerusalem; (Luke 23:27-31)

The soul returns to the Master and listens to His Words.
Openness to life - purity - at all costs.

IX Station: The Third Fall

Even the saints fall seven times a day.
The soul recognizes the absolute poverty and weakness it possesses.
The soul begins to earnestly pray to live in the presence of God and for final perseverence.

X Station: Jesus Stripped of His Garments (Luke 23:34, John 19:23)

Detachment from this world, the stripping of needless comforts, and a heavenly vision set in.

XI Station: the Crucifixion

Words no longer suffice to express love for the Master – only deeds which speak of a crucified heart. Promises give way to the actualization of nails penetrating flesh.

XII Station: Jesus' Death on the Cross

The Dark Night of The Soul.
No one around save the Mother and the Saints.
Is there a God? Does Heaven exist?
Where have You gone O Love of My Soul?

XIII Station: Jesus' Removal from the Cross

The soul is dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus, all in the arms of Mary, His Mother.

XIV Station: the Burial of Jesus.

The hope of heaven enkindled by closeness to the Church and Her Sacraments;
most importantly worthy reception of Holy Communion:

Make my soul the sepulcher of your Holy Body
and I will long for
and believe
that Heaven
is the soul’s final resting place.