Stations of the Cross: a Treasure

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

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dnb

    Our church teenagers use a mix of Mary’s Way of the Cross and the Way of the Cross for Teenagers, posing out each station. Very moving.

  • Jeanette

    This looks like a very beautiful and bittersweet service.

    Thank you for sharing this with someone who has never experienced this type of service.

  • Lori

    Thanks for sharing that, Anchoress. I’ve read in some of the revelations to the saints (which of course are not dogma) that it was the Blessed Mother herself who started the devotion, when after Jesus’ death she marked all the places of His suffering and death, and made the circuit of them regularly. I can easily believe it.

    [Oh, I can, too. If that were my son, I'd do exactly that. -admin]

  • John S

    Thanks for this, it made me feel a lot better and pulled up a bit out of the doldrums. It is the beauty of our faith, that we find comfort in Christ and /can/ find comfort in Christ through personal commitment.

  • DaveW

    A very interesting interpretation. I like it.

  • Lawrence Cunningham

    The Stations of the Cross as we have them today (14 stations) is a rather recent form of devotion having been stabilized in the 18th century by Saint Leonard of Port Maurice. The late John Paul II (rightly) added an optional 15th station: the resurrection. As modern as the Stations may be I like making them on Fridays of Lent at the basilica on campus. During Holy Week we have a processional 14 stations out of doors that arracts hundreds of students.

  • Jennifer

    I love these Stations. I have prayed them before years ago, and still remember how powerful it was. Thank you for the link so I can once again walk with Mary to the Cross.

    I hope this form of the Stations becomes more popular. It draws me in in such a personal way and of course, just leaves me in awe all over again at our Mother’s faith and her strength.

  • Joe

    They do it at my church on Fridays, with a lenten soup dinner out in the Parish hall.

  • Manny L.

    On Good Friday, in New York City, there will be what’s become an annual event of walking the Stations of the Cross from Brooklyn to the World Trade Center, a two and a half mile walk. You can read about it here Make sure you check out the various pages.

    I’m really tempted to go. I’m not sure i can swing my schedule. But if things work out, I will.

    [Nice info, thanks. But Manny, you GOT to read the tutorial and learn how to make a link! You're killin' me! :-) -admin]

  • Manny L.

    I have the tutorial. I’ve tried a number of times. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’m sorry, I really am a computer illiterate…lol.