When we talk about “treasures of the church” I always think of the Stations of the Cross, which is one of my favorite devotions.
When you are feeling stressed and need to be taken out of yourself (or you need to find meaning in what you’re going through) the Stations of the Cross “walk you through” the Passion of Christ, and it is staggering how often whatever you are bringing to that Via Dolorosa finds its expression on the cross with Christ.
I remember once, praying in a hospital chapel about some tests I was preparing to undergo. Contemplating the possible diagnosis, I was able to consider Christ hearing his sentence passed. His falling became my fear. His meeting of his mother was my dealing with concerned loved ones who could not help. Simon the Cyrene became the helpful strangers dressed as nurses and doctors.
Walking through the stations and meditating on what Jesus had endured only made me realize that much more fully that he was completely with me. At the 10th Station, where Jesus is stripped of his garments? It was a true consolation to remember that when techs and personnel were walking in and out of a room while I was being examined.
Deacon Greg Kandra, and his talented wife, Siobhain, have for several years led the Stations of the Cross at their parish, but they do it a little differently, using Mary’s Way of the Cross -the Passion of Christ, seen through the eyes of his Mother. The devotion includes Benediction.
This week a little of that was featured on Currents, at NET-TV.
The excerpts we see here look very moving. And it looks like they get a very good turnout for this night of prayer.
The Stations of the Cross are an ancient and particularly useful devotion in Lent. Call your nearby parish, and find out when they are doing it. You’ll be glad.
Unrelated but good: Lots of great stuff over at New Advent