The Stations of the Cross OR Way of the Cross are meditative prayers reflecting upon the Passion, Suffering, and Death of Jesus the Christ.
BEFORE EACH STATION PRAY:
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee;
Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Hail Mary ...
Glory be to the Father ...
"Have mercy on us Lord. Have mercy on us Lord."
I. Jesus is condemned to death.
Pontius Pilate dares to condemn the all-holy Savior to death. No, not Pilate; but my sins have condemned Jesus to be crucified. O Jesus, have mercy on me and remember Thou didst choose to die that I may have eternal life. Let me so live that when I come to die I may find Thee a most merciful Judge, an all-loving Redeemer.
II. Jesus takes up His Cross.
Most willingly Jesus accepts and patiently bears His Cross for my sake. Will I refuse to bear my cross for His sake? No, my loving Redeemer, I will no longer seek to evade my cross, but with the Help of Thy Grace I will bear it with Christian patience and resignation and follow Thee always.
III. Jesus falls the first time.
Weakened by torments and by loss of blood, Jesus falls beneath His Cross. Alas! More truly was He crushed to earth by the number and enormity of my sins! Good Master, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I love Thee, infinite Goodness! Help me to hate sin as the only real evil.
IV. Jesus meets His sorrowful Mother.
Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, meets Mary, the Queen of Martyrs. Oceans of grief deluge their Hearts as they face each other. They suffer thus for my sins. O Jesus, O Mary, bathe my sinful soul in a sea of true sorrow for my past offences. In all temptation I will say: `Jesus, Mary, help me!'
V. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross.
Although Jesus seems about to expire, He does not need -- yet accepts -- the help of Simon, since He wills to die on the Cross. Thus does He teach me charity and perseverance. O Jesus, I too will carry my cross patiently to the end and strive to lighten the cross of my fellow-men.
VI. Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus.
Jesus accepts and returns the towel to Veronica. Upon it is left the impress of His adorable Face. Alas! My sins have disfigured Thy holy Countenance. O Jesus, grant me efficacious sorrow that all sin may be erased from my soul and that Thy Grace and Thy divine Image may be stamped upon it forever.
VII. Jesus falls a second time.
My feeble resolutions, my oft-repeated sins have crushed Jesus to earth a second time. Such is the malice of habitual sin. O Jesus, grant me true repentance. Let me die a thousand times rather than have the misfortune to fall again into mortal sin! Help me to hate all sin.
VIII. Jesus meet the Women of Jerusalem.
The Savior teaches the women not to weep for Him, but for their own sins and the sins of their children. How generous is He! O Jesus, grant that I may understand the true meaning of Thy Passion and be so inflamed with love for Thee that I may shed tears of blood over my past transgressions.
IX. Jesus falls the third time.
Consternation fills my soul when I behold the Savior fall a third time beneath the Cross. What is the cause? The incredible obstinacy of sinners who refuse to amend their lives. O Jesus, grant that I may be truly converted and suffer every evil rather than be numbered among such ungrateful sinners.
X. Jesus is stripped of His garments.
What a pitiable spectacle is this shameful stripping of Jesus! Ghastly wounds are re-opened. Blood flows afresh. What shame would be mine if the veil were torn from my soul and the world saw my hidden sins! O Jesus, help me to know all my sins and confess them with deep sorrow and true humility.
XI. Jesus is nailed to the Cross.
How can I behold the Savior shamefully nailed to the Cross and seek only comfort, wealth, and honors... and even indulge in unlawful pleasures? Jesus Crucified, help me to esteem and practice true Christian mortification that I may love only Thee and renounce the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
XII. Jesus dies on the Cross.
Jesus, my God, dies on the Cross for me. I have done nothing for Him. I too must die! O my Crucified Savior, grant that I may so live in the future that I may have no cause to fear a sudden and unprovided death. Jesus, for Thee I live. Jesus, for Thee I die!
XIII. Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
The lifeless Body of Jesus now rests in the arms of Mary. What anguish is hers as she thinks of the many souls for whom her Son shed His Precious Blood in vain! What joy to know that so many are redeemed! O my Savior, preserve me from Hell. O sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
XIV. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Like Jesus, I too must lie in the grave. But Jesus rises in triumph on the third day. My buried Jesus, grant eternal rest to all who sleep in death. Have mercy on me and grant me the grace to rise to a new spiritual life, that dying to myself now, I may rise gloriously with Thee on the Last Day.
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