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The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross ^ | Mother Angelica

Posted on 02/19/2004 10:28:52 PM PST by Salvation

Opening Prayer

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the Way of the Cross.
You felt every pain and every humiliation. You were unafraid of the
ridicule heaped upon you by the crowds. Your eyes were ever on Jesus
and His Pain. Is that the secret of your miraculous strength? How did your
loving heart bear such a burden and such a weight? As you watched Him
stumble and fall, were you tortured by the memory of all the yesterdays-
His birth, His hidden life and His ministry?

You were so desirous of everyone loving Him. What a heartache it was
to see so many hate Him - hate with a diabolical fury. Take my hand as I
make this Way of the Cross. Inspire me with those thoughts that will make
me realize how much He loves me. Give me light to apply each station to my
daily life and to remember my neighbor's needs in this Way of the Pain.

Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, the wisdom
and the Divine love as I go from scene to scene. Grant that my heart, like
yours, may be pierced through by the sight of His sorrow and the misery and
that I may determine never to offend Him again. What a price He paid to
cover my sins, to open the gates of heaven for me and to fill my soul with His
own Spirit . Sweet Mother, let us travel this way together and grant that the
love in my poor heart may give you some slight consolation.


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KEYWORDS: agony; carrying; catholic; catholiclist; cross; diesoncross; falls; garden; garments; mary; mother; nails; rejection; savior; scourging; stations; stripped; thorns; tomb; veronica; women
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1 posted on 02/19/2004 10:28:53 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation

1st Station
The First Station:
Jesus Is Condemned To Death

My Jesus, the world still has You on trial. It keeps asking who You are and why You make the demands You make. It asks over and over the question, If You are God's Son, why do You permit the world to be in the state it is in? Why are You so silent?

Though the arrogance of the world angers me, I must admit that silently, in the depths of my soul, I too have these questions. Your humility frustrates me and makes me uncomfortable. Your strength before Pilate as You drank deeply from the power of the Father, gives me the answer to my question - The Father's Will. The Father permits many sufferings in my life but it is all for my good. If only I too could be silent in the face of worldly prudence - steadfast in the faith when all seems lost - calm when accused unjustly - free from tyranny of human respect - ready to do the Father's Will no matter how difficult.

Silent Jesus, give us all the graces we need to stand tall in the face of the ridicule of the world. Give the poor the strength not to succumb to their privation but to be ever aware of their dignity as sons of God. Grant that we might not bend to the crippling disease of worldly glory but be willing to be deprived of all things rather than lose Your friendship. My Jesus, though we are accused daily of being fools, let the vision of Quiet Dignity standing before Monstrous Injustice, give us all the courage to be Your followers.


2 posted on 02/19/2004 10:32:19 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Second Station:
Jesus Carries His Cross

How could any human impose such a burden upon Your torn and bleeding body, Lord Jesus? Each movement of the cross drove the thorns deeper into Your Head. How did You keep the hatred from welling up in Your Heart? How did the injustice of it all not ruffle your peace? The Father's Will was hard on You - Why do I complain when it is hard on me?

I see injustice and am frustrated and when my plans to alleviate it seems futile, I despair. When I see those burdened with poverty suffer ever more and cross is added to cross my heart is far from serene. I utterly fail to see the dignity of the cross as it is carried with love. I would so much rather be without it.

My worldly concept is that suffering, like food, should be shared equally. How ridiculous I am, dear Lord. Just as we do not all need the same amount of material food, neither do we need the same amount of spiritual food and that is what the cross is in my life, isn't it - spiritual food proportional to my needs.


3 posted on 02/19/2004 10:35:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Third Station:
Jesus Falls the First Time

My Jesus, it seems to me, that as God, You would have carried Your cross without faltering, but You did not. You fell beneath it's weight to show me You understand when I fall. Is it pride that makes me want to shine even in pain? You were not ashamed to fall- to admit the cross was heavy. There are those in world whom my pride will not tolerate as I expect everyone to be strong, yet I am weak. I am ashamed to admit failure in anything.

If the Father permits failure in my life just as He permitted You to fall, then I must know there is good in that failure which my mind will never comprehend. I must not concentrate on the eyes of others as they rest upon me in my falls. Rather, I must reach up to touch that invisible hand and drink in that invisible strength ever at my side.

Weak Jesus, help all men who try so hard to be good but whose nature is constantly opposed to them walking straight and tall down the narrow road of life. Raise their heads to see the glory that is to come rather than the misery of the present moment.

Your love for me gave You strength to rise from Your fall. Look upon all those whom the world considers unprofitable servants and give them the courage to be more concerned as to how they stand before You, rather than their fellowmen.


4 posted on 02/19/2004 10:42:05 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Fourth Station:
Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother

My Jesus, it was a great sorrow to realize Your pain caused Mary so much grief. As Redeemer, You wanted her to share in Your pain for mankind. When You glanced at each other in unutterable suffering, what gave you both the courage to carry on without the least alleviation - without anger at such injustice?

It seems as if you desired to suffer every possible pain to give me an example of how to suffer when my time comes. What a humiliation for You when Your mother saw you in such a pitiable state - weak - helpless - at the mercy of sinful men - holiness exposed to evil in all hideousness.

Did every moment of that short encounter seem like an eternity? As I see so much suffering in the world, there are times I think it is all hopeless. There is an element of lethargy in my prayers for mankind that says "I'll pray, but what good will it do? The sick grow sicker and the hungry starve. " I think of that glance between You and Mary - the glance that said, "Let us give this misery to the Father for the salvation of souls. The Father's power takes our pain and frustration and renews souls, saves them for a new life - a life of eternal joy, eternal happiness. It is worth it all." Give perseverance to the sick so they can carry the cross of frustration and agony with love and resignation for the salvation of others.


5 posted on 02/19/2004 10:44:53 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Fifth Station:
Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

My Jesus, Your tormentors 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 and eternity 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 from prejudice to have courage? Was Simon a symbol of all those who are hated because of race, color and creed?

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 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.


6 posted on 02/19/2004 10:47:03 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Sixth Station:
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

My Jesus, where were all the hundreds of peoples 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 offeringYou 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?

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 that 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.


7 posted on 02/19/2004 10:49:30 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

The Seventh Station:
Jesus Falls A Second Time

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities the 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 You by appearances 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 judgment is in the light of your second fall! Your greatest moment wasYour 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.

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.


8 posted on 02/19/2004 10:51:35 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

8th Station
The Eighth Station:
Jesus Speaks to the Holy Women

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, 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.

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.


9 posted on 02/19/2004 10:53:53 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

8th Station
The Ninth Station:
Jesus Falls the Third Time

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 time 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.

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 am 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 weaknesses who try and 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.


10 posted on 02/19/2004 10:56:07 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

8th Station
The Tenth Station:
Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

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 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?

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.


11 posted on 02/19/2004 10:59:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

8th Station
The Eleventh Station:
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

It is hard to imagine a God being nailed to a 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 and sin? Was the nail in Your right hand for those who spend their lives in dissipation and boredom?

Was the nail in Your left and 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?

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 am 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 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.


12 posted on 02/19/2004 11:02:25 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

12th Station
The Twelfth Station:
Jesus Dies on the Cross

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.

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


13 posted on 02/19/2004 11:06:11 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

13th Station
The Thirteenth Station:
Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross

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.

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.


14 posted on 02/19/2004 11:09:05 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

14th Station
The Fourteenth Station:
Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher

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 as 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 by only 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, where 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?

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


15 posted on 02/19/2004 11:11:40 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

Closing Prayer

My Jesus, I have traveled Your Way of the cross.
It seems so real and I feel so ashamed. I complain of my
sufferings and find obedience to the Father's Will difficult. My Mind
bogged down by the poverty, sickness, starvation, greed and hatred
in the world.
There are many innocent people who suffer so unjustly. There are
those born with physical and mental defects. Do we understand that
You continue to carry Your cross in the minds and bodies of each
human being?
Help me to see the Father's Will in every incident of my daily
life. This is what You did - you saw the Father's Will in Your persecutors,
Your enemies and your pain.
You saw a beauty in the Cross and embraced it as a desired treasure.
My worldly mind is dulled by injustice and suffering and I
lose sight of the glory that is to come. Help me to trust the Father
and to realize that there is something great behind the most insignificant
suffering. There is Someone lifting my cross to fit my shoulders - there
is Divine Wisdom in all the petty annoyances that irk my soul
every day.
Teach me the lessons contained in my Cross,
the wisdom of its necessity, the beauty of its variety and the
fortitude that accompanies even the smallest cross.
Mary, My Mother, obtain for me the grace to be Jesus
to my neighbor and to see my neighbor
in Jesus.


16 posted on 02/19/2004 11:15:00 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Call to Prayer Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Call to Prayer Ping list.

17 posted on 02/19/2004 11:21:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
WOW, that was pretty cool... thanks for all your posts...!!!
18 posted on 02/19/2004 11:49:12 PM PST by bellas_sister
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To: Salvation
You have been busy tonight. A gracious thanks for all your efforts
19 posted on 02/20/2004 1:10:48 AM PST by .45MAN
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To: Salvation; dansangel
This is a definite bookmark, by the way..
20 posted on 02/20/2004 1:12:25 AM PST by .45MAN
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To: Salvation
21 posted on 02/20/2004 7:30:34 AM PST by My back yard (The world is changed; I can feel it in the water, in the earth, I can smell it in the air.)
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To: Salvation
Thanks Salvation.

Btw ... I picked up a copy of the Stations recently and only when I got home realized that it was a set of stations JPII had celebrated in the early 90's ... dropping a couple of the traditional stations and adding a few more.

I'll thumbnail them for you, if you like ... I thought it an interesting take on things from the same man who brought us the Luminous Mysteries.
22 posted on 02/20/2004 7:41:38 AM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5
That would be great.

I've always wondered why the scourging and crowing of thorns were not part of the Stations of the Cross.
23 posted on 02/20/2004 7:50:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Askel5
Let's try that again:

I've always wondered why the scourging and crowning of thorns were not part of the Stations of the Cross.
24 posted on 02/20/2004 7:51:19 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Thanks for posting. I was recently in a conversation about the stations and scriptural evidence of each. The one about Veronica wiping Christ's brow is not in scripture. Do you know the historical background for that station?
25 posted on 02/20/2004 7:52:20 AM PST by al_c
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To: Askel5
Here are some other links about Lent:

The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

Lent and Fasting

Ash Wednesday

All About Lent

Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children

26 posted on 02/20/2004 7:52:48 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Question: Does anyone have any Scriptural warrant for the season of Lent?
27 posted on 02/20/2004 12:25:30 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: LiteKeeper
Imitation of Christ's 40 days in the desert.

You might check some of the threads linked above. Lots of scriptural references.
28 posted on 02/20/2004 12:35:37 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
You might check some of the threads linked above. Lots of scriptural references.

Sorry to be dense, but a couple of questions:

1. What does the 40 day sojourn in the desert have to do with Lent?

2. Scripture references to the Stations of the Cross don't say anything about Lent as a season...where is the connection?

29 posted on 02/20/2004 12:43:47 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Salvation
God Bless You!
30 posted on 02/25/2004 11:57:15 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: franky
And you!
31 posted on 02/25/2004 2:52:00 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: franky
Saint Veronica
Question from Wilberto on 02-11-2004:
Was there really a Saint Veronica and was she really canonized as a saint?
Answer by Matthew Bunson on 02-14-2004:
St. Veronica was a woman of Jerusalem who, struck with pity for Christ on the way to Calvary, wiped his face with a cloth (on which the image of his face was imprinted). While there is no reliable historical evidence for this event, the story became widespread in Christian lore, appearing in a variety of forms. In a later version of the apocryphal Acts of Pilate, she was identified with the woman mentioned in Matthew (9:20-22) who suffered from an issue of blood. She supposedly cured the emperor Tiberius with the sacred relic. The Veil of Veronica (or Veronica's Veil) was purportedly seen in Rome from the eighth century, being translated to St. Peter's by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297. Other relics by the same name appeared in other locations, such as Milan.

The name Veronica probably originated, as reported by Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1147-1223), from the term veronica, derived from the title vera icon (true image). Despite the presence of several veils, the relic was extremely popular during the Middle Ages.

The Stations of the Cross include St. Veronica and the incident of the cloth. St. Veronica is honored with a feast, even though she is not included in the Roman Martyrology, and her feast day: July 12.

32 posted on 03/12/2004 9:29:58 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Askel5
I also saw them recently. Please do thumbnail them for us.

The Stations of the Cross tonight at our church will be a shadowbox presentation by our youth group: "The Stations from the Eyes of Mary"

Sounds quite a bit like "The Passion of The Christ" doesn't it?
33 posted on 03/12/2004 9:32:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Passionate about the Passion

Passionate about the Passion
What was at the heart of Jesus' suffering and death?

For centuries, drama and good storytelling have had the power to grab our imaginations and move us in our innermost hearts. Even today, a gripping novel or a powerful movie can stay with us for a long time after we have finished it-and the very best have had so strong an impact that they have changed the way we think and act.

Of all the great stories that have been written, and of all the great dramas that have been acted out on stage or in a movie, none is more powerful than the story of Jesus Christ-especially his passion, death, and resurrection. Nothing can compare to this story in its ability to fill us with sadness as we see Jesus treated so harshly-or with excitement and hope as we see in his resurrection the defeat of sin and death and the promise of new life for all of us.

How many times, after meditating on the passion of the Lord, have you felt a lump in your throat, or even been moved to tears? How many times has some movie about Jesus affected you deeply and given you an overflowing sense of God's love?

Why do we react this way? Because the Holy Spirit loves to bring the gospel to life for us, and he will use stories, movies, and drama to do that. We also react this way because deep down we recognize that the passion of Jesus is at the very core of our lives and of our faith. Deep down, in that place where the Spirit moves the most intimately, we see that God chose to save us and bring us back to him by giving up his only Son for us. It's plausible that God could have chosen some other way to redeem us, but he chose the cross in part because of the way this gripping event dramatizes how deeply he loves us.

During this season of Lent, we want to encourage you to read the passion and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind as you meditate on the story. Ask the Spirit to give you divine insight and revelation that touches your heart as much as it teaches your mind. Tell him you want to experience a new depth of God's love as you contemplate once more the story behind St. John's famous words: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" (John 3:16).

A Mystery of Hatred and Fear. There are many different ways we can read the passion stories in the gospels, but we want to look at these stories from two dimensions. We want to focus on the natural, psychological elements at play in the passion. But we also want to point out some of the more spiritual and theological aspects that are visible just beneath the surface of these gospel stories.

As we read the gospels, we can see that Jesus was put to death because his message was too radical for the religious and political leaders of Israel. It seemed that Jesus repeatedly alienated them with his words and his actions. He associated with Samaritans, he ate with tax collectors, and he reached out to prostitutes. While the leaders dismissed these people as undesirables and outcasts, Jesus saw them as beloved but wounded children of God-people who needed to be embraced, healed, and brought to new life.

Not only did Jesus scandalize these leaders by the company he kept, he went so far as to openly confront their hypocrisy. He accused them of appearing clean on the outside while allowing self-centeredness to reign on the inside (Matthew 23:25). He challenged them to stop building themselves up and to practice what they preached (23:3-7). He even asked them, "How can you escape being sentenced to hell?" (23:33). And as you might expect, the more boldly Jesus challenged them, the more intensely they hated him.

But Jesus did even more than challenge the Jewish leaders on a personal level. He challenged the way they were interpreting and teaching the laws of Moses. He defended his disciples when they were accused of breaking the sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8). He even "broke" the sabbath himself by healing the sick at synagogue gatherings (12:9-14; Luke 13:10-17). He openly forgave the sins of an adulterous woman who, according to a strict interpretation of the law, should have been put to death (John 8:2-11). He even appeared to commit blasphemy when he told a paralyzed man that his sins had been forgiven (Mark 2:1-12).

Finally, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Jewish rulers were pushed to their limit. They felt that had no choice but to eliminate this troublesome rabbi. "If we let him go on like this," they reasoned, "everyone will believe in him and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation" (John 11:48). And so Caiaphas, the high priest, decided-both prophetically and ironically-that it was better "to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed" (11:50). And, as we all know, the rest is history.

A Mystery of Salvation. And yet, while all this was going on between Jesus and Israel's leaders, another conflict was raging-one that extended beyond the confines of one group or another and reached right up to the throne of God. Just about everyone who has read the passion can identify the injustice and the cruelty that Jesus experienced. We wonder why so many everyday Jews turned on him and why Pilate caved into the demands of the Sanhedrin. We wonder how anyone could justify killing a man who had dedicated his life to preaching peace, love, and mercy.

While nearly everyone can condemn such injustice, it takes another set of eyes to perceive the salvation that flowed out of it. Only through the eyes of faith can we see the cross as God's perfect plan of salvation. Only as we ask the Spirit to open our hearts will we see in the passion the battle between light and darkness-and the victory that Jesus won for each of us.

As we meditate on the passion, we will come to see how much Jesus gave for our sake-both spiritually and physically. On the surface, it appeared that a few men devised an evil plan to put Jesus to death. And to a certain extent, this is correct. But on this deeper level of faith, we can see how Satan entered Judas and convinced him to betray Jesus to the authorities. And if we look at other aspects of the passion, such as Peter's denial and the intense hatred of his enemies, we will also be able to see the devil's influence behind these human actions and decisions. In all of these strategies, Satan's goal was to isolate Jesus and weaken him to the point where he would turn away from God's plan and fall into sin himself. Satan knew that if he could get Jesus to deny his Father just once, our salvation would be jeopardized, and his hold over us would go unthreatened.

Praying the Passion. As we delve into the mystery of the passion this Lent, let's imagine ourselves with Jesus during the final hours of his life. The closer we can get to the reality of these events, the more we will appreciate what Jesus did for us.

How can you get the most out of pondering the passion? By asking the Holy Spirit to help you see the spiritual battle that was raging even as the political and personality struggles were taking place. Ask him to show you how the lies of Satan, the power of sin, and the darkness in the human heart all played a part in Jesus' suffering and death. Even more importantly, ask him to show you the perfection of God's plan to save us and redeem us from these influences. Finally, ask the Spirit to show you how you can apply the message of the passion to your life.

Scripture tells us about a woman who-a short time before Jesus' final Passover-anointed him with precious and costly perfume (Mark 14:1-9). Let's take her act of love and devotion as a model for the way we can respond to Jesus this Lent. As responsible stewards, we can always ask how we can best use the "costly ointment" of our lives for good: to serve the poor, to help educate others, or to take care of our families. These are always good questions to ask. But love never calculates. It never relies only on good reason. Its one desire is to give as much as it can for the beloved and then ask, "How can I give more?" This woman loved Jesus so much that she poured out-even "wasted"-the most valuable thing she owned on him.

Logic tells us to be prudent and economical. Love tells us to "waste" ourselves for those we love. Of course we should be logical and use the gift of reason that God gave us. But when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, logic needs to take a back seat to love.

As you begin this Lenten season, ask the Holy Spirit to draw you deeper into the heart of Christ-every time you receive the Eucharist, every time you pray, and every time you read the passion. Let the mystery of Jesus' death sink into your heart. As the beauty and power of this great drama pierces you, give Jesus the best gift you can give: Pour out your life on him in love, adoration, and obedience.

34 posted on 03/14/2004 2:23:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

BTTT in preparation for Lent 2005!

35 posted on 02/05/2005 11:55:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; Starmaker; ...
Prayer Ping for Lent!

Plan to attend the Stations of the Cross as often as possible during Lent.

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Prayer Ping List.

36 posted on 02/12/2005 8:04:01 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Askel5

**I'll thumbnail them for you, if you like**

Could you please do that or provide a link? Last night we had our first soup supper -- about eight parishioners bring a meatless soup and then we said the Stations of John Paul II. What I like about them is the Scripture that goes with each.

37 posted on 02/12/2005 8:07:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

And bookmarked.

Thanks for the ping, Salvation.

38 posted on 02/12/2005 8:07:47 AM PST by kstewskis (you have to have a mind to lose it...)
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To: kstewskis

You're welcome, kstewskis.

39 posted on 02/12/2005 8:09:42 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank you for your pings! The graphics are beautiful.

40 posted on 02/12/2005 8:13:32 AM PST by amdgmary (Please visit
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To: Salvation
Salvation, excellent job posting the Stations of the Cross...


41 posted on 02/12/2005 8:23:22 AM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation


42 posted on 02/12/2005 8:24:38 AM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation

Heart filled thanks to you again... I do so appreciate your sharing and caring on line... You have truly improved my days...

43 posted on 02/12/2005 8:37:19 AM PST by Fritzy (Fritzy)
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To: Askel5
I just found them!

Stations of the Cross

(As Celebrated By Pope John Paul II)

The following stations of the cross are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. They are presented here as an alternative to the traditional stations1 and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ's passion.

The presiding minister may be a priest, deacon, or layperson. This minister prays the opening and closing prayers, leads the acclamation, announces the stations, and says the prayer that concludes each station. One or more readers may read the Scriptural reflections. A period of silence should be observed between the Scripture reading and the prayer. A cross bearer accompanied by two candle bearers may stand in front of each station as it is announced. As the cross- and candle bearers move between the stations, all may sing a verse of the Stabat Mater (At the Cross Her Station Keeping - traditional) or an appropriate antiphon, such as Parce Domine (traditional, various settings) or Crucem Tuam (Berthier, GIA),

Before each station:

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

After each station:

Lord Jesus, help us walk in your steps.

Opening Prayer:

God of power and mercy, in love your sent your Son that we might be cleansed of sin and live with you forever. Bless us as we gather to reflect on his suffering and death that we may learn from his example the way we should go.

We ask this through that same Christ, our Lord.


First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Matthew 25:36-41

Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom, that we may seek to follow your will in all things

Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested

Reader: Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
Mark 14: 43-46

Lord, grant us the courage of our convictions that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.

Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

Reader: When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."
Luke 22: 66-71

Lord, grant us your sense of righteousness that we may never cease to work to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.

Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter

Reader: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly.
Matthew 26: 69-75

Lord, grant us the gift of honesty that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.

Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate

Reader: The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified.
Mark 15: 1-5, 15

Lord, grant us discernment that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.

Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,"Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly.
John 19: 1-3

Lord, grant us patience in times of suffering that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.

Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross

Reader: When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... 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. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
John 19: 6, 15-17

Lord, grant us strength of purpose that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.

Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross

Reader: They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
Mark 15: 21

Lord, grant us willing spirits that we may be your instruments on earth.

Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Reader: A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!' and to the hills, ‘Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23: 27-31

Lord, grant us gentle spirits that we may comfort those who mourn.

Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified

Reader: When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."]
Luke 23: 33-34

Lord, grant us merciful hearts that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.

Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

Reader: Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Luke 23: 39-43

Lord, grant us perseverance that we may never stop seeking you.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple

Reader: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19: 25-27

Lord, grant us constancy that we may be willing to stand by those in need.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Reader: It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
Luke 23: 44-46

Lord, grant us trust in you that when our time on earth in ended our spirits may come to you without delay.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
Matthew 27: 57-60

Lord, grant us your compassion that we may always provide for those in need.

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites earth and heaven and reconciles all people to you. May we who have faithfully reflected on these mysteries follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.


Scripture excerpts are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament Copyright © 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce these excerpts in free distribution of these stations.

44 posted on 02/12/2005 8:38:08 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Askel5

I thought there was a 15th Station -- The Resurrection. What does your book have?

45 posted on 02/12/2005 8:38:47 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: amdgmary

Thank you, staight from EWTN.

46 posted on 02/12/2005 8:40:59 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Smartass

Thank you.

And thanks for your ever-present encouragement. (bumps)

47 posted on 02/12/2005 8:42:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. I hope it is okay for these to be copied and printed for my own use.

48 posted on 02/12/2005 11:37:24 AM PST by pieces of time
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To: pieces of time

No problem about copying. God bless you!

49 posted on 02/18/2005 5:27:26 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: pieces of time

No problem about copying. God bless you!

50 posted on 02/18/2005 5:28:12 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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