February 11, 2018
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
World Marriage Day
World Day of the Sick
“I will do it. Be made clean.”
Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross consist of 14 moments of the life of Jesus during his passion and death.
Some people are able to make a pilgrimage at some point in their life to the Holy Land, and actually follow the path Jesus walked through his suffering and death. In other words, they can make the Stations of the Cross in the actual place where they happened. I’ve had this wonderful privilege, and it is very powerful to walk where Christ walked, and pray where Christ suffered and died.
Many, however, are never able to make this pilgrimage in person, and certainly not regularly. For this reason, churches began creating 14 memorials to represent the locations where these events in Jesus’ life happened, and the faithful may walk along these memorials, or stations, in memory of walking along with Jesus. Thus, when we pray the Stations of the Cross, we spiritually walk and pray with Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem.
We can pray the Stations of the Cross during any time of the year, but it is particularly appropriate for the season of Lent when we meditate more specifically on our sinfulness which led Christ to undergo his passion and death. We are familiar with praying the Stations of the Cross at church as a community, but we can also meditate on the stations of the cross anytime during our prayer time. You can easily lookup the Stations of the Cross online.
Catholics are familiar with the idea of “giving something up” for Lent. Giving up things like chocolate are good for us because it helps us grow in virtue and offer this small penance to Jesus as a sacrifice. I encourage not only “giving something up”, but also “doing something extra” for Jesus during Lent. It could be praying more, saying the rosary, going to daily Mass once a week, etc. For the last several years, I have made a commitment during Lent to do the Stations of the Cross every day. It is powerful to meditate daily during Lent on Jesus’ suffering and death, and to think of how he did that for me.
Whether or not you also try to pray the stations of the cross daily, I do hope you attend the Stations of the Cross here at church on the Fridays of Lent.
During the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, we will have a time of Eucharistic Adoration. I will expose the Eucharist, then proceed to do the Stations as usual, and then conclude with Benediction. (We will do adoration during Stations every Friday during Lent except for the two Fridays when I will be absent, those Fridays the Stations will be prayed but there will not be Adoration.)
I’ll conclude with the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori for the Stations of the Cross (which I love and pray daily in my own prayer time). I love you Jesus my love. I love you more than myself. I repent with my whole heart from ever having offended you. Never let me offend you again, grant that I may love you always, and then do with me as you will.
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke