Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fourteenth station: Jesus is laid in the sepulchre

Fourteenth station-Jesus is laid in the sepulchreReflections

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 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 only by 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 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?

Prayer

My Jesus, hide my soul in Your heart as You lie in the sepulchre 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!

Thirteenth station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

Thirteenth station-Jesus is taken down from the cross

Reflections

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.

Prayer

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.

Twelfth station: Jesus dies on the cross

Twelfth station-Jesus dies on the cross

Reflection

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.

Prayer

Forgive our pride, dear Jesus as we spend hours speculating, days arguing and often a lifetime 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.

Eleventh station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Eleventh station-Jesus is nailed to the cross

Reflection

It is hard to imagine a God being nailed to the 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?

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?

Prayer

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’m 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 that 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.

 

Tenth station: Jesus is stripped of His garments

Tenth station-Jesus is stripped of His garments

Reflection

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 of 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?

Prayer

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.

Ninth station: Jesus falls the third time

Ninth station-Jesus falls a third time

Reflection

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 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.

Prayer

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’m 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 weakness; who 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.

 

Eighth station: Jesus speaks to the holy women

Eighth station-Jesus speaks to the holy women

Reflection

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 and 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.

Prayer

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.

 

Seventh station: Jesus falls a second time

Seventh station-Jesus falls a second time

Reflection

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities 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 Your appearance 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 judgement is, in the light of Your second fall! Your greatest moment was Your 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.

Prayer

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.

Sixth station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Sixth station-Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Reflection

My Jesus, where were all the hundreds of people 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 offering You 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?

Prayer

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 the 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.

Fifth station: Simon helps Jesus carry His cross

Fifth station-Simon helps Jesus carry the cross

Reflection

My Jesus, Your tormentor’s 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 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 prejudice to have courage?

Was Simon a symbol of those who are hated because of race, colour and creed?

Prayer

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 the 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.