Way of the cross

O merciful Lord, our Master, we want to faithfully follow you; we want to imitate you in our life in an ever more perfect way. Through the meditation of your passion, grant us the grace to better understand the mysteries of the spiritual life.

Mary, Mother of Mercy, always faithful to Christ, guide us on the path of your Son’s painful passion and obtain for us the necessary graces for this Way of the cross to be fruitful.

 

First Station: Jesus is condemned to Death

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: The Sanhedrin, the official organ of the judicial authorities of the Jewish people, makes this tremendous decision against Jesus: scribes, Pharisees and high priests had long been upset by his miracles, for Jesus’ attention to the diseases and infirmities of some people even in Saturday. That his genuine goodness, his free lifestyle and without ties to them bothered: Jesus did not fit into their mental and operational schemes: he spoke and acted with a big heart and with a lot of understanding towards public sinners. One is condemned who passed by doing the goodness and healing every disease.

Priest:             Lord, help us to do goodness even when they not understand us or we are misjudged.

All:                 Lord, have mercy on us.

Our father…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: The wood of the cross was made up of two parts: one movable and one fixed: Jesus is loaded with the so-called patibolum or horizontal axis on which the arms were stretched (tied or nailed). It was heavy enough to support an adult’s body once hoisted onto the pole. Furthermore, Jesus wore the recent and painful signs of the scourging and a crown of thorns made his forehead bleed. Jesus is disfigured by beatings and blood, but without complaining he carries this cross in the crowd. Everyone must see him so humiliated, punished and condemned. He is the man of pain who knows suffering well.

Priest:             We too find it hard to carry our daily cross.

All:                 Help us sir.

Ave Maria……

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First Time

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: We know from the Gospels that Jesus was often physically fatigued for his travels, to listen to the people who besieged him, for preaching in villages and cities. Often, especially the sick, they also looked for him at sunset, when the day was almost over. A life entirely dedicated to others, his life was entirely given. Even the night was often dedicated to the prayer of intimacy with the Father. The man Jesus experiences all the effort to live that is typically ours. He is the man on the street who announces the mystery of the kingdom to everyone. Now he feels that his shoulders give way under the weight of the cross, the knees do not hold up and the body already bent by the effort finally collapses on the ground.

Priest:             In some moments, even our life is heavy.

All:                 Lord, give us the strength to resume your journey every time.

Glory……

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Fourth Station: Jesus meets His Mother

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: Mary accompanied the whole life of Jesus. She raised, cared for and educated him together with Giuseppe. She is present at the wedding at Cana, when Jesus performs the first miracle. She meditates in her heart the continued mystery of Jesus. From afar, she follows him with the heart and apprehension of a true mother. Every mother is like her, when she has children far away, in difficulty, or in danger. The whole life of Jesus has been in danger since birth. Mary is aware of this: her love for her son leads her to share with him all the passion of love for the salvation of humanity, right up to death on the cross. This is the sword that pierced her existence.

Priest:             Right on the cross, Jesus left us his mother.

All:                 Jesus, always give us your mother.

Our father….

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus carry His Cross

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: This character, who enters the Gospel only once and then disappears definitively, has a particular role in the story of Jesus. We do not struggle to think that the condemned man’s eyes probably met with his own: he was angry at this imposition of the Roman soldiers, invaders. He too was tired of the fieldwork that started early in the morning and now he was going home for lunch. This was not a favour done to Jesus, but to the military, who cared that the condemned man come alive to undergo the crucifixion. Simon does not say a word, but Jesus sees everything and knows everything about him. We like to imagine that precisely Jesus blessed his life.

Priest:            Following Jesus means taking our cross every day

All:                  Lord, console us in the trials of life.

Ave Maria….

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

 Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: We know that some women have always followed Jesus in his itinerant ministry. Jesus considered them faithful disciples and gratefully appreciated their services. He has always loved and esteemed them. It is a gesture of tenderness and sensitivity that of Veronica who allows herself to dry with a cloth the Face of Jesus, stained with blood and sweat. He lets it be done as before with the gesture of the Magdalene. This creature rich in an exquisite feminine delicacy therefore enters fully into the Gospels and fills us with admiration every time we read this event.

Priest:            We ask Jesus to help us transform your Word into concrete gestures of charity.

All:                 Where there is charity and love, there is God.

Glory…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: Jesus therefore reaches the end of his human strength: the blood he has lost and the acute pain for the imminent end are destroying him. I believe that no experience of human suffering is foreign to him and that all of them are grouped together in his own. Normally in these situations, we let ourselves go. We no longer have the desire to react or fight against our weakness. However, Jesus wants to complete the project shared with the Father and for which he came into the world. Then he gets up, appealing to the little energy that remains. We too in this Way of cross, we share this effort with him, knowing that he is giving his life for our salvation. This is the high price paid.

Priest:             Jesus tells us to unite our pains and pains with his and not to disperse them in despondency and sadness.

All:                  With you and for you, Lord, we can do anything, even suffer.

Our father….

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Eighth Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: Here on the painful journey he, who is so suffering, has the courage to comfort the many women who have come to see, even out of curiosity, the condemned to the punishment of the cross, the most infamous. Jesus does not miss the opportunity to send a message: there will be other serious moments in their history in which tears will not be enough to express the pain. We know that women in general have more capacity to endure it, that often their lives are full of sacrifices, which men try to escape. This kindness of Jesus is like an invitation to perseverance in their role in the family and in society. Those are times when women are only worth as a mother, that is, capable of generating life, but it is man who prevails socially. Jesus has an eye that looks away over the centuries, therefore his word is never old, his gestures always current.

Priest:             We ask the Lord to keep our families united with his love.

All:                 We always trust in you or Lord because your love is forever.

Ave Maria…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: This third fall makes an impression: he has always been strong; he walked in Galilee, Judea, Samaria and other neighbouring territories with a sure step, followed by his disciples. Now we are afraid that he will never rise again. Someone wrote that it is our sins that make him fall: in reality, we are aware of our misery, that we need forgiveness and redemption. This exhaustion is still momentary: there is proof of his crazy love for us who is waiting for him at the end of this painful journey. He has to get up and go all the way; he cannot give up now that he has almost reached the end: courage, determination, and trust in the Father: these are the signs of his strong and decisive character.

Priest:             Show us your mercy Lord and we will be saved

All:                 Forgive us our debts, Lord.

Glory…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: Jesus gave us the example of how to live chaste, poor and obedient and now on Calvary with their clothes they would also like to take away his dignity. The first Adam was ashamed of being naked and ran away to cover himself. The new Adam undergoes this dispossession to clothe us with his grace, to enrich us, precisely through the vow of poverty, of his greatness. Now we can say that he gave his whole body, handing it over to the Father, to put on the baptismal habit of the children of God. His nakedness does not create problems for us, as do the bodies torn by the pandemic virus. We consider our mortal body as the chalice that contains our soul, as the means of expression of everything that is non-material we have inside the veins of the soul. This body is always a gift from God, even when we dirty it and beautiful clean clothes are not enough to guarantee the purity of the heart.

Priest:             If our eye is pure, everything will be pure, if it is polluted everything will be sick.

All:                 Give us a new heart, Lord; put a new spirit within us.

Our father…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: The cross is difficult to understand and even more difficult to love it: if you do not believe in the one who hangs on it, it is outrageous, because he is a loser, a failure. Our religion puts the cross at the center of every consideration: the crucifix looks at us from every altar and reminds us that this is the greatest love offered to us, shown to us: for us men and for our salvation it has descended, he suffered and accepted the cross. There is no greater love than this, that of giving one’s life for each and all of us. We know true love without self-sacrifice does not exist: missionaries, priests, religious and ordinary people who lit the lamp of faith at the school of the cross know it well. Without it hanging over it, it is nothing, it is an insult to rationality and it is unbearable violence. We kneel before the crucifix and adore him, albeit with the fears and doubts we have and the weaknesses that we cannot hide.

Priest:             Lord, your cross is a tree of life and a banner of love for all

All:                 We adore you Christ, because with your holy cross you redeemed the world

Ave Maria…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the Cross

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: A real death that of Jesus on the cross, not a theatrical fiction to move hearts and frighten consciences. Death is a curse for our thirst for life; it is the bitter consequence of our original sin. A formidable life instinct has been placed within us. There are times when we reject this negative reality of dying and others when we invoke it as liberation. Fortunately, it is in the hands of the creator God, because we would never decide to accept it.

Now Jesus has uttered a cry that still resounds in the history of humanity, and which associated with the darkness that has occurred all over the earth, denotes a gloomy and funeral liturgy. Then emit the Spirit. Here the words are silent in the silence of Jesus’ death: the women return home beating their chests. The Roman centurion who witnesses the scene emits an act of faith in the crucifix; the repentant thief waits for Jesus to take him with him to heaven. We love the One who gave his life for us.

Priest:             The death of Jesus as a true man is not however the end of his personal affair.

All:                 With your death, our life is not taken away, but transformed.

Glory…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: Maria, her mother, assisted with some women and the apostle John in the last moments of her son’s life. Now, after the terrible anguish that has dominated his maternal feelings, he can embrace him again, hold him tight against his chest, and give him a little warmth of his body, as if to revive him. Jesus died, but he is still all hers. Before he was raised between heaven and earth, as if to bring them together in a single embrace, now he is united with his mother. This scene is so delicate and full of tenderness that the brushes of the artists or the chisels of the sculptors are not enough to remind us of it. You are always alone when you die, but the presence of loved ones seems to soften your passing away. Those present who have a little sensitivity have a soul swollen with pain. Now everything is over: his lifeless body receives the hugs of those who love him, even ours who in this Way of Cross want to remember this precious event for the history of our salvation.

Priest:             We remember all our dear departed and hope that they are in the arms of the Lord.

All:                 Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

Our father…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the Tomb

 

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by Your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader: The tomb is a dark cavity, sealed by a stone that is rolled to the entrance. The corps is blindfolded, but he expects the parasceve to pass and on Saturday to anoint him with aromas. Even Jesus, like all the children of Adam, lies in the sepulchre. However, this is not the end: he has always associated suffering, the cross and his death with the resurrection: exactly it must take place on the third day. Those who have heard these words must wait for this unique and rare event.

In truth, they remain lost and disheartened with the death of the Master. Fear invades the apostles, who lock themselves in the upper room reinforcing the bolts. The sepulchre will open without any forcing and only the bandages and shroud will remain, carefully placed in a corner. It is still he, Jesus of Nazareth who will manifest himself alive again for 40 days. The place where we find our Saviour is not the sepulchre, but in the Glory of the Father. His resurrection thus becomes the strong argument for our total faith in him, in his person and in his word.

Priest:             Light up our lives, Lord, with your paschal mystery.

All:                 Envelop us, Lord, with the light of your resurrection.

Ave Maria…

Holy Mother! Ah! Bring it about that the wounds of the Lord be impressed in my heart!

 

 

Prayer after the Way of Cross

 

O Jesus, our only hope,

Thank you for this wonderful book of your Passion,

Where we learn how to love you, and how to love others.

Give us, Lord, to understand, love and imitate

These inexhaustible treasures, this unique testimony of life,

Your martyrdom of love! (…)

Happy is the soul, who understood the love of the Heart of Jesus!