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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Way of the Cross

The Five Year Plan
A Home-Made Way of the Cross

I have to say, even in High School, the concept of a 'five year plan’ intrigued me. (I think it must have been the vigor of youth.) Imagine, being able to think of something in advance and then intentionally take five years to implement it. Despite its use within the Communist government, taking 5 years to get something done, is no longer a novelty to me: It has become a way of life. Normally, usually, almost always, an idea I have takes about 5 years (especially if I am in the ‘survival zone’) to become a reality. One example of this is my homemade Way of the Cross.

The Marian Seraphic Pathways, the rule book of the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, says “Each Friday let [the FTI] regularly make the way of the cross and each Saturday the way of the Mother.” (SP#31)
I hung up the 14 steps of the way of the cross in my house so that I could pray the Stations at home. You can see by the picture that this is by no means perfect. Many of them are not hanging at all, and when I took this picture, I hadn't finished mounting them all on wooden plaques. And who can miss the unfinished basement walls? It was my husband's idea to mount them on wooden plaques, to prevent the rag tag edges which inevitably occur with little children rubbing their shoulders, bulked up by coats, against the pictures.

So, about 5 years ago, I set out to Michael’s craft store. I needed wooden plaques, Mod Podge glue, sponge brush, scissors, hanging apparatus, and bronze spray paint.

In the first year, I was able to get outside with a cardboard box and the wooden plaques, to spray paint the wooden plaques bronze. I had to be especially careful with the edges, they will be seen. (The edges delayed this project by about 18 months.)
Well into the second year, probably closer to the third year, I was placing the pictures over the wood, pressing any edges with my fingers that need to be trimmed, so that I could use the crease as a good cutting guide.
I learned to cut the pictures carefully (mistakes can be fixed using a pinking shear, but will add another six to eight months.)
Around the fourth year, I finally began to use Mod Podge. (Use the glue on the wood and the back of the picture, using a sponge brush which fits into the Mod Poge jar.)
Then press picture from center out with your fingers, getting rid of air bubbles.
Mod Poge the entire top of the picture.

I am already three years into the Way of the Mother project as told by this picture. I am a little ahead of schedule. I hope to have this completed this year, eventhough the plaques are all stacked up next to the phone, waiting for their Mod Podge application.

Here are some prayers for
The Way of the Cross by Saint Francis. No set prayers are required to say the Way of the Cross. It is more important to just revisit the scene of the Passion, bring your heart and mind back to Calvary to keep the Lord company in His great agony.

El Greco
Christ Carrying the Cross
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York