Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stations of the Cross meditations, Part I

Once again, Kenosis: Teen Disciples for Love and Life spent the Holy Week meeting creating meditations on the Stations of the Cross. This time we asked that the meditations focus on the joy and fruitfulness of suffering. And once again, the meditations are too good not to share. I hope they give you an opportunity for fruitful prayer as we prepare for the Triduum.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.
All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

“And he said to the Jews, ‘Behold your king!’ They cried out, ‘Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I
crucify your king?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.” – John 19:14-16.

Jesus, knowing he was completely innocent of any crime, accepts the fate that the Jews and the Romans dictate. He knows that by doing this he will have to suffer greatly, and yet He continues anyway because He places the good of each of us above His own comfort. His words in the garden echo in our memory, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, yet, not as I will but as You will.”

Jesus, help us to show this same selflessness that you did, even in the face of situations that cause us harm.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Second Station: Jesus takes up His cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.
All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

Dearest Jesus, Your example of self-gift and humility inspires us to give of ourselves and offer up our sufferings to You. Through Your willingness to accept Your cross, You gave us a model to follow and a way to face our struggles with joy and hope in our hearts.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Third Station: Jesus falls the first time.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

Jesus’ first fall shows the weight of the cross, how heavy our sings are. How much more joyful we should be, then, that such a burden has been lifted from our shoulders. His falling and rising shows that He is with us at every moment, even when we fall. He is with us, helping us carry our crosses, and just as He didn’t give up on us on His way to Calvary, He doesn’t give up on us now. The fall wasn’t the greatest pain He endured for our sake, but it shows us that He is with us not only in our greatest trials, but also smaller ones. Jesus’ rise after His fall points to His resurrection, which is the ultimate example of hope because of suffering.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Fourth Station: Jesus meets His mother.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.
All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

As Mary looks at her suffering Son, her heart burns with desolation. The angel Gabriel had promised that her Son would redeem the world, but now He is walking from the sinful world to His death. It is at this moment that Mary reflects on the joy of her first yes at the Annunciation, and the grace that has come from the suffering she has endured. If her small suffering in saying yes to God could make God flesh, what could limit the power of the suffering of God? Mary is able to trust that he agony, united to her Son’s plays an active part in the salvation of the world.

Mary, help us to see how God has used our suffering to make Himself visible to our family and those around us. Help us in our agony to know that Jesus is meeting us with a deep understanding of the sufferings of our heart.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.
All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

It was not long into the journey up the hill that it was recognized that our Christ was not going to make it on His own. The soldiers pressed Simon of Cyrene into helping. How blessed was Simon to be allowed the great honor to share in the suffering of the Lord.

But we can be sure that this is not how he felt. At least, not initially. What overwhelming joy, would Simon have, when Christ rises, and His true nature is known, that he played some small part.

Each time I suffer, I am given the opportunity to join in the suffering of Christ. But too often I cannot see beyond my broken heart. I refuse to see beyond the unfairness of my situation.

Lord, take my heart, all my suffering, all my faults, all my talents. Help me to focus them towards You; towards joining them with Your way of the cross; towards uniting with You in the Eucharist. Only in placing them in You, can they be transformed in the Resurrection into JOY. Please not let it be after the fact that I see the beauty and fruitfulness of this suffering.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

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