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March 29th, 2015

The Way Of The Cross With Meditations

The Way Of The Cross With Meditations

The Stations of the Cross is devotion to the Sacred Passion in which we accompany, in spirit, Our Lord in His sorrowful journey to Calvary and meditate on His suffering and death. You can read more about the Stations of The Cross and why should we pray the Stations of the Cross.

Before each Station, genuflect and say, “We adore You, O Christ and we bless you because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.”

Station I: Jesus is Condemned to Death

Meditation: The crowds in the streets were jubilant; they would see this man executed, this preacher from Galilee who raised doubts about their faith. Further away, Peter was sobbing after denying Jesus three times. Judas returned to the elders of the city desperate to return their money. It was too late. Judas fled to meet his own death. In the courtyard, the procession was ready, the gates were opened. The soldiers lead the way, Jesus followed. He’s weak, hardly able to stand; but with great dignity He moves forward.

Prayer: O Lord, remind me often that in carrying my cross, I share in carrying yours. May our journey be with grace that we can truly say we love the cross. It is a token of a new covenant by which our sins are forgiven and reconciled with you, 0 Lord. Grant us, by virtue of the Cross, to embrace with meekness and cheerful submission our difficulties, and to be ever ready to take up our cross and follow You.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. Almighty God, who’s beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption, give us courage to take up our cross and follow Him; Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station II: Jesus Bears His Cross

Meditation: Pilate could see no reason to crucify Jesus. He tried everything he could think of. He offered Barabbas but the crowd wouldn’t hear of it. His wife had sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with this righteous man. I have suffered much over him in a dream.” (Mat. 27,19). He had to do something so as not to appear weak. He washed his hands in front of the crowd saying, “I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood, see to it yourselves!” (Mat. 27, 24) He turned Jesus over to his soldiers to be crucified.

Prayer: O Lord, give me the grace to choose humiliation to pretentiousness. Give me the strength to choose poverty rather than greed. Give me the courage to suffer pain rather than to hurt others. Grant me the grace that I may see it is You whom I obey in all who govern me.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. Almighty God, who’s most dear Son suffered then was crucified, mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station III: Jesus Falls a First Time

Meditation: The procession moves out of the city gate. Jesus was unsteady on his feet and the soldiers were pushing. Jesus is exhausted, trembling under the weight of the cross. Suddenly, He buckles and fails, the cross upon Him, His wounds ripped open. The soldiers are upon Him in an instant, pulling Him painfully to His feet. Within seconds the procession is moving again.

Prayer: O Lord, the weight of Your cross made You fall, but You struggled to Your feet and moved on. Teach us that sin is not in the failing, but in the failure to get up and carry on. You have been a source of endless strength to us. With the power of God flowing through Your Body, You have healed the sick, raised the dead and taught the Word. Now the power wanes from Your Body and You falter, struggle but carry on. For our sins You bore the burden of the Cross and under the weight, You fell. May the remembrance of Your suffering make us watchful of ourselves to save us from any grievous fall into sin.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, grant us such strength and protection to support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station IV: Jesus Meets His Mother

Meditation: Jesus’ mother is making her way towards the procession. She had held Him to her, nurtured, loved and raised Him. Now she knew she had to face the end of His time with her. He stood before her, trembling under the weight of the cross, His Face disfigured, His Body bleeding. His mother tried to move closer, to speak with her Son. He tries to move towards her but in an instant the soldiers pushed Him away. The soldiers could stop them from speaking but they could not break the love that passed between them in their eyes and their hearts.

Prayer: O Lord, for all of us who carry our crosses after you, we must stand and watch the sufferings of those we hold dear: their heartaches, their sickness, their grief. Help me to always recognize those around me who love me and faithfully stand by me. Help me to hold onto their caring and to understand that I need them as others may need me.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, Who willed that in the passion of your Son a sword of grief should pierce the soul of the His mother; mercifully grant that Your Church, having shared with her in His Passion, may be made worthy to share in the joys of His resurrection; Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station V: Jesus is Helped by Simon

Meditation: They move forward towards the hill where the crucifixion is to take place. The soldiers realize the hill is steep enough that Jesus would not make it. As they scanned the crowd, they spotted Simon of Cyrene to assist them. A Roman soldier pushes him towards Jesus telling him what he wanted done. Simon saw the pitiful sight of this condemned man. Jesus was bruised, bleeding with sweat and grime and Simon quickly picked up the cross. They moved uphill with Jesus following.

Prayer: O Lord, You needed help in Your final journey on earth. You found the grace and humility to accept the help. In doing so You honored the strengths, the gifts and the capability of those who helped. O Lord Who understands my weaknesses, give me the grace to accept the help of those around me.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve. Bless all who follow in His steps, that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in His Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of Him Who laid down His life for us, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station VI: Jesus and Veronica

Meditation: Veronica steps towards Jesus giving Him a wet cloth. With not even a glance towards the soldiers or consideration of her own safety she sought to alleviate His suffering by gently wiping His Face. Jesus felt the comfort of the cloth and opened His Eyes able to see her without the blood and sweat trickling down His Face. She wanted to reach out and hug Him but the soldiers roughly pushed her back and they continued along their way.

Prayer: O Lord, grant me a moment of Yourself. Print Your Face upon my thoughts and Your likeness within my heart. Live in me. Act in me. Love in me but not in me alone – in all who follow You – so that we may reveal Your glorious Face on earth.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, grant to us that we may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into His likeness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station VII: Jesus Falls a Second Time

Meditation: As Veronica is separated from Him, Jesus feels again the searing pain, the solitude, the humiliation. He prays quietly to the Father and struggles to move on. He tries to numb Himself to just keep moving, to avoid more lashes from the soldiers or mocking cheers from the crowds, to avoid the pebbles on the roadway that were biting into His Feet. Not able to, He once more stumbles to the ground. He struggles to His feet. Taking a deep breath, He moved on–He’d make it.

Prayer: 0 Lord, You shared our human condition. You felt the limitations of the body: hunger, thirst, heat, cold, tiredness, pain. You stumbled as we stumble, fell as we fall. Guide us to turn to You in faith when our burdens grow heavy.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. Almighty and everliving God, in Your love for us, You sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon Himself our nature giving us the example of His great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of His suffering, and share in His resurrection; Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station VIII: Jesus Speaks to the Women

Meditation: The crowd following the procession had grown, most notably the women. Jesus could hear their crying and sobbing. He turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and your children” (Luke 23:27). They were stunned. Confused at His meaning, He continued, “For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breast that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke23:29-13) Even at this moment of terrible suffering, Jesus was not thinking of Himself, He was thinking of humanity. These people need to change their lives.

Prayer: O Lord, how often have I been so immersed in my pain that I feel only the blows of my tormentors and have failed to look to others? Guide us to follow Your guide and reach out with compassion and solace to our fellow travelers. May gentleness become my cloak.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, teach us to mourn our sins and to repent and forsake them; that, by Your pardoning grace, the result of them may not be visited upon our children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station IX: Jesus Falls a Third Time

Meditation: The other two prisoners and the crowd have arrived. Jesus pushes on, breathless, speechless, pushed now and then by the soldiers. The screams of the other two could be heard. Jesus falls once more. They laugh at Him and mock Him. He rises, steadies Himself and walks the last few yards to His destination – The Place of the Skull.

Prayer: O Lord, when all the strength is gone and guilt and self-reproach press us, when it seems to hold fast, save us from despair. Guide us; help us to cast off our shame and guilt. Help us to love ourselves and to truly believe that any sin of ours is no greater than Your love. To believe that no matter what our past has been, we can begin anew.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, by the passion of Your blessed Son You made His death the means of life for us: Grant that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station X: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Meditation: Jesus arrives at His destination. He glances up; the two others are in place, screaming in pain. He looks down and waits for the soldiers to lead Him to His turn. They remove His clothes, tossing them in a heap nearby. The soldiers debated what to do with His clothes as they laid the cross on the ground in front of Him. They decided to cast lots for them thus fulfilling the Scripture which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (Psalm 22:18). Jesus lifted His Eyes to the heavens and prayed.

Prayer: O Lord, the indignity they did to You. You preached openly and fearlessly. All could see by example the lessons of truth, humility and love. May I be poor in spirit Lord, so that I can be rich in You.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. Lord God, whose blessed Son gave His Body to be whipped and His Face to be spit upon: Give us the grace to accept our sufferings, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station XI: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Meditation: The soldiers grab Jesus and lie Him face up on the cross stretching His Arms. They hold His Wrist and Hand to the wood and press a nail into it until it stabs His Flesh. Then, with a heavy hammer blow, they drive it through. The pain bursts like a bomb. They do the same with the other Arm and once again the pain explodes. Raising His Knees so that His Feet would lie flat, they hammer the spikes into them. Each hammer blow drove the metal spikes into His Flesh breaking arteries and splintering bones. The pain was unbearable. He was nearly senseless. It was done; Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You stretched Your Arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that we all might know Your saving embrace. Help us to bring those who do not yet know You, to Your love.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O Father, You could have saved Your Son, taken Him home with You without the suffering. You allowed it for us. Please Lord grant me the grace necessary to follow Your Son and make His Hands bleed no more. Through Your Son, our Lord, Amen

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us.

Station XII: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Meditation: As Pilate had ordered, a soldier placed, above Jesus’ head, a notice reading ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:20). The cross was hoisted into place. Jesus’ mother, accompanied by John, stayed near and prayed. Jesus looked down, seeing them and whispered to his mother “Dear woman, here is your son”(John 19:26) and to John “Here is your mother” (John 19:27). Time passed slowly, three hours of agonizing pain. The sky was dark. Jesus said “I am thirsty”. (John 19:28) A soldier offered Him wine mixed with myrrh. The two crucified beside Him talked to Him. Looking at one of them he said “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43). Jesus screamed aloud “EIi, Eli, lama sabachthani? – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Those under the cross heard him whisper “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit (Luke 23:46). A few moments later said, “It is finished.” With that He breathed His last. At that instant, the earth shook, rocks split, and the curtain in the temple ripped from top to bottom. The centurion guarding Jesus saw the earth quake and said “Surely He was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). Jesus died at 3 p.m. on the cross at Calvary.

Prayer: O Lord, death is hard for us to understand. It is only through the faith You had in Your Father which carried You through the torment. 0 Lord, remind us always that faith will carry us through our losses.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, Who for our redemption gave Your only begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with Him in the joy of His resurrection; Who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

Station XIII: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Meditation: Sabbath was rapidly approaching and the crucified ones had to hurry and die so they could be taken down before the beginning of the Sabbath celebrations. A soldier came and was ordered to break the legs of the living. He realized that the two thieves were still alive but Jesus appeared dead. He pierced the side of Jesus with his spear to be sure that He was dead. The crowd started to disperse, hurrying to their homes before the beginning of Sabbath or they’d be excluded from the celebration. Mary stayed under the cross with her Son. Two men came to the soldiers with orders from Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. Joseph had offered his burial tomb for Jesus body. Jesus body was removed from the cross and laid on the ground. Mary could see her Son and hug Him for the last time. Mary held the lifeless Body of her Son in her arms. She wanted desperately to hear His cries as an Infant but that wasn’t to be. As she held onto Her only begotten Son, her heart was heavy; she was grief-stricken that this was the last time she would get to hold Him, see Him, be with Him. She didn’t want to give Him up but she had to–the soldiers were waiting. She rocked Him and kissed Him gently on His bloodstained Cheek. She drew Him close to her for the last time. She surrendered Him to the guards.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, grant to us that we may fall asleep peacefully with You and wake up in Your likeness; for Your tender Mercy’s sake.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O Lord, grant us the strength to accept the partings that must be part of our lives. Grant us the grace to grieve as well as rejoice for those You call home, through Your Son our Lord. Amen

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

Station XIV: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Meditation: Calvary was silent. People had returned to their homes to prepare for the Sabbath. John, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and His mother Mary, made their way from Calvary with Jesus’ Body to His burial tomb. Joseph and John entered bearing the Body of Jesus. They laid Him on the rock bench in the burial chamber. The men moved a big boulder in front of the entrance to block it. Some soldiers approached. They had orders to guard the tomb. The members of the Sanhedrin were afraid that His Body might be taken. The soldiers settled down to a night of joking and wine drinking in front of the tomb of Jesus.

Prayer: O Lord, for three days You laid in that tomb before emerging triumphant over death. Teach me 0 Lord, to let my heart speak louder than my faltering. Guide me to carry on Your work.

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the way of the cross. Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, wisdom and love of the cross. Teach me the lessons it contains. Grant for me the grace to see your Son in all. O God, grant that we may find our perfect rest in His eternal and glorious kingdom; where He lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

March 5th, 2011

Stations Of The Cross

Stations of The Cross

Way of the Cross leads us not to the tomb, but to the glory of life.

We observe 14 Stations of the Cross as a repentance prayer, in the lent period that precedes Easter in order to meditate on the passion of Jesus who was condemned to death and crucified at Calvary by Jews and Roman soldiers who opposed the teachings and doings of the Son of God.

Go and see The Way of the Cross in Pictures

These stations of the passion of Christ are prayed as follows:

1. Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate – Although Pilate knew beyond doubt that Jesus did nothing wrong, wanting to satisfy the demanding crowd He released Barabas, a notorious criminal to them. Then Pilate had Jesus flogged and handed over him to be crucified. Jesus was to be crucified for the serious sins committed by each one of us. It is said “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Thus, instead of sinners like us dying for our sins, Jesus paid by his death for us to be saved.

2. Jesus bears the Cross – The Cross, said to have been made for Barabas, was to be carried by Jesus and the criminal who was to be crucified was spared. It was a very heavy cross. Jesus carried such a cross because our sins are so huge. In a way we are Barabasses of various types of mortal sins. The cross was unbearable, yet Jesus took upon himself the cross for us to be rescued and made us ready for heaven.

3. Jesus falls the first time – We committed sins to such a critical level, that load of the Cross was so heavy, Jesus fell to the ground with the cross. Our sins will fail us miserably and we will fall dangerously unless we repent and remain in the ways of God.

4. Jesus meets His Mother – Jesus and His mother Mary met each other during the journey to Calvary. This is the saddest meeting any mother and son could ever experience. And suffering is the worst in silence. We shall sincerely pray to Jesus through the intercession of Mother Mary to receive spiritual strength to bear sorrows, sufferings and separations.

5. Pedestrian Simon helps Jesus in distress – Simon was from Cyrene. He was passing by on his way home. Soldiers seized him and forced him to carry the cross behind Jesus. Simon is fortunate; he could lend a helping hand to Jesus. Sinners like us would never accept any cross. Instead we would try to place them on others because there is pleasure in doing sin. And in carrying cross there is pain. If we have a mustard seed size faith in Jesus, we are bound by his love to carry the cross given to us and we should accept due punishment for our sins.

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus – According to legend, Jesus was offered a handkerchief by Saint Veronica, on the road to Calvary and the image of Jesus was impressed upon it by divine will. She was the only person who took courage to defy the orders of the soldiers and so closely met Jesus and did this never-forgettable act. O Jesus, my Lord, yours was the most handsome face of a man the earth ever saw. Though through our sins we have disfigured ourselves and became unworthy to show our face to you, your face remains the holiest.

7. Jesus falls the second time – The ongoing increase in human sins was unbearable even to God, Jesus fell the second time. We must prayerfully remember that our sins can fall us fatally and without the grace of God we cannot rise. Jesus, lift us out from the dark pit we are in.

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem – ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, weep for yourselves and for your children.’ These words of Jesus remain true even today. We are weeping not about ourselves and not about our children. This is because we are all sinners. When sin is in, Jesus finds no place in the inn of our mind. We remain in the domain of the devil. Jesus, shower your grace and save us from the grip of the evil.

9. Jesus falls the third time – This is a warning signal to all of us that our sins will keep failing us and we will fall never to rise. We should avoid sin and avoid eternal fall. Jesus strengthens us in our faith.

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments – When one’s worn clothes are forcefully removed, it is a shame in public. Here, Jesus was the victim at the hands of the soldiers. Clothes of us are the symbols of sins and Jesus is happy when we are stripped of our sins. Jesus, keep us away from sins.

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross – Crucifixion is the worst form of killing a person. Jesus chose the worst form of death for our deadly sins. We made the nails of sins for Jesus to nail Him to the cross. Our sins gave deathly pain to Jesus. Sins are capable of such atrocities. Jesus, give us the wisdom to abstain from sins.

12. Jesus dies on the cross – Jesus accepted a miserable death on the cross to give us eternal salvation and the kingdom of heaven. The wage of sin being death, He accepted it on the Cross to save us. Our souls would eternally die, if He had not died for us. There is repentance and absolution for our sins, since Jesus paid the price for them.

13. Jesus is brought down from the cross to be buried – Death brings everyone down to the earth but Jesus was brought down to the earth by our sins. The age in which we live is short with Simons and Samaritans but long with Barabasses and Judasses. Hence, God’s grace is essential for physical and spiritual survival. Jesus, give us your protection at all times.

14. Jesus is placed in the burial vault – Joseph who came from Arimathea got permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus from Cross. He took the body of Jesus down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. Jesus, when we die allow us to join you in heaven.

Read about why we should pray the stations of the Cross

The way of the Cross leads us not to emptiness but to triumph and glory.

Our ways of the cross too are the same. They too lead us to glory and victory.

– – – written by Dr. C.T George

March 1st, 2011

Story : I Took Your Place

Jesus Died For You

One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, “I always park there. You took my place!”

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing.

Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?”

The visitor replied, “I took your place.”

—————- —————- —————-

Jesus died for us. He took our place and died for our sins on the calvary.

Live this new life that He gave us, expressing our gratitude to Jesus for taking our place.

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