Search      Language 
     
SPIRITUAL LIFE
  MEDITATION  
  OVERVIEW  
  PRACTICAL GUIDES  
  PRAYERS  
  SACRAMENTAL LIFE  
  VIRTUE TIPS  

A Mother’s Tears (Article)
The 2014 Catholic High School Honor Roll (Article)
Contemplating Mary at the Foot of the Cross (Article)
It’s Not too Early to Start Planning for the 2016 World Youth Day (Article)
Fall JOY (Article)

Via Crucis
INTERNATIONAL | SPIRITUAL LIFE
The contemplation of the supreme moments of Christ’s self-giving for our redemption.

Via crucis
Christ is helped by Simon of Cyrene. Way of the Cross from the Novitiate chapel of the Legionaries of Christ in Salamanca (Spain).
STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The practice of the Stations of the Cross is deeply rooted in traditional Catholic piety. The purpose of this prayer is to contemplate afresh, in our heart and mind, some of the climactic moments of Christ’s sacrifice of himself for our redemption, and to arouse interior attitudes of sorrow for sin, trust, gratitude, generosity, and identification with Christ.

This kind of almost dramatized meditation, alternating between hymns and vocal prayers, helps us not only to recall Christ’s sufferings, but to discover in some measure their depth, drama and intricate mystery. Here human suffering in its highest degree, human sin in its most tragic repercussion, love in its most generous and heroic expression, and death in its most cruel victory and definitive defeat are all made starkly visible.

Introduction
Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Either:
Holy Father, look kindly on us as we prepare to retrace, step by step, the luminous path of the cross, alongside Jesus our Redeemer. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Or:
Father, look kindly on us as we prepare to contemplate, at Jesus’ side, the mysteries of his passion. Instruct us in the school of redemptive suffering, so that we will recognize and take up our own cross, embracing it with love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:
Amen.

I

Jesus is Condemned to Death
Leader:
The first station: Jesus is condemned to death.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: Then Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your concern.” And the people, to a man, shouted back, “His blood be on us and on our children!” . . . He ordered Jesus to be first scourged and then handed over to be crucified (Matthew 27:24-26).

Reader 2: What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. (Romans 8:35-37)

Reader 3: If you want to be happy, you have to purchase it through suffering. If you want to find human and Christian fulfilment, you have to follow spiritual values and reject the enticements of the flesh. If you want to be truly free, you have to make yourself a servant of God. (Centered on Christ, n. 1470)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord God, teach us to be grateful and to respond to all that Christ endured and suffered because he loved us, when he gave up his life for us on the cross, shedding his blood to save us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

II

Jesus Takes Up His Cross
Leader:
Second station: Jesus takes up his cross.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting on him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him (Mark 15:16-21).

Reader 2: Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and, found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

Reader 3: Human suffering only makes sense when it is united to Christ’s suffering. Patient, loving, and faith-filled suffering is the source of all peace, prayer, and union with God, and is the most effective apostolate. (Centered on Christ, n. 682)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord, enable us to be faithful not only when everything goes our way and fidelity is not difficult, but also during the bitter hours of life when it matters most to be faithful and to follow Christ’s footsteps on the way of the cross. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

III

Jesus Falls the First Time
Leader:
Third station: Jesus falls the first time.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: “No slave is greater than his master.” If they persecuted me they will persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name (John 15:20-21).

Reader 2: Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. (I Corinthians 1:27-29)

Reader 3: We will never progress without fighting. It is a serious error to think that we can reach our ideals, no matter how beautiful and noble they may be, unless we decide to fight, and fight to the end.   (Centered on Christ, n. 751)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord God, never permit us to yearn for a life without crosses, but a life of crosses with Christ; for the cross is a given, inherent to human life, and particularly so for those who have agreed to follow him along the path to Calvary. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

IV

Jesus Meets His Mother
Leader:
Fourth station: Jesus meets his mother.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: Three days later they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” He replied, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?” (Luke 2:48-49).

Reader 2: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Reader 3: No Christian can ever feel abandoned, alone, or forsaken, for Mary is always beside him to encourage him with her support and motherly care. (Centered on Christ, n. 1509)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
We thank you, Lord, for the clear example of faith Mary gives us. We pray that by reflecting and suffering with her we will grow in our understanding of Christ’s mysteries, and our faith will be our strength and sure hope until life’s end. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

V

Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus
to Carry the Cross
Leader:
Fifth station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: They led him out to crucify him. They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross (Mark 15:21-22).

Reader 2: Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself. But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:2-3, 14)

Reader 3: Give thanks to God for the crosses he has placed on your path, and then instead of asking him to take away the mountain in front of you, ask him for the strength to climb it. (Centered on Christ, n. 620)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to be enthusiastic and steadfast in carrying the cross that in your kindness you have given us, so our love for those souls that are far from you will drive us to walk by your side on the way to Calvary. You live and reign for ever and ever.
All:
Amen.

VI

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Leader:
Sixth station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: “Come you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:34-36).

Reader 2: Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Reader 3: Do not waste your life waiting for great opportunities to love Christ. Love him now in all of the small, humble things so that you will stay faithful to his love when those great opportunities arise. (Centered on Christ, n. 291)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Moved by the example of Veronica, who honored Christ and offered him the sincere homage of her love and gratitude, we ask you, almighty God, for the strength to be men and women of the Kingdom who will not shrink from the prospect of suffering and the cross. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

VII

Jesus falls the second time
Leader:
Seventh station: Jesus falls the second time.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:4,5,10).

Reader 2: I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (II Corinthians 12:10)

Reader 3: Fighting, even though we fall, shows love, interest, life, optimism, and trust. For God, it constitutes the triumph of God’s grace over weak human nature.  (Centered on Christ, n. 797)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord Jesus, we know that you deserve everything from us and that anything we offer you will always be pitifully small. Look with favor on our efforts to spend our lives for you selflessly and without limit, and be the guarantee of our final victory, you who live and reign for ever and ever.
All:
Amen.

VIII

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Leader:
Eighth station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me. If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, amen, I say to you, he will most certainly not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:40, 42).

Reader 2: Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. In everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things. (II Corinthians 6:2, 4, 10)

Reader 3: To want something, especially something supernatural, is to already be capable of achieving it because you are not the only one acting. God is with you, and God can do anything; “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). And to want something is to have the greatest certainty: “I know in whom I have believed and am confident” (2 Tim 1:12). (Centered on Christ, n. 476)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Loving Father, enlighten our minds and hearts to understand all that Christ wants to be for us. Enable us to enjoy the pardon and peace he won for us by generously giving himself. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

IX

Jesus Falls the Third Time
Leader:
Ninth station: Jesus falls the third time.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” (Matthew 26:41-42).

Reader 2: Because Christ himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. (Hebrews 2:18, 4:16)

Reader 3: Temptation is conquered by fighting: this is the law that Christ sets for us with his example. He chose to submit to this humiliation so that he may be both our model and our strength. (Centered on Christ, n. 438)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Holy Father, enable us to understand that it matters not if we fall a thousand times, as long as we love the fight and not the fall. Grant us the strength to battle on, knowing for sure that this is more pleasing to Christ than a cozy victory achieved at no cost. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

X

Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Leader:
Tenth station: Jesus is stripped of his garments
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he tasted it, he refused to drink. After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there (Matthew 27:33-36).

Reader 2: Whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things, and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8)

Reader 3: Jesus Christ gave himself up to death out of love. He did it fully and constantly; he did it heroically. You also have to surrender yourself totally to Christ’s love. You have to give him your soul, your body, your strength, your time, and your entire life. (Centered on Christ, n. 1222)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord our God, place in the depths of our hearts the firm conviction that as life advances and eternity draws near, only Christ’s love remains. Make this love be the treasure for which we sell everything, until we experience the satisfaction and joy of being seeds fallen in the furrow beside him. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

XI

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Leader:
Eleventh station: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: They crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews.” Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek (John 19:18-20).

Reader 2: For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. (Galatians 2:19-20)

Reader 3: May meditating on Christ’s cross make you decide to repay his great act of love with a love equally capable of offering him your own blood and of crucifying yourself on the other side of his cross. (Centered on Christ, n. 639)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Loving Father, in Christ’s cross you show us the living reality of your personal love for man. Enlighten our consciences so that we will accept that the most fruitful and beautiful life is spent following Jesus Christ to the cross in order to accomplish your will. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

XII

Jesus Dies on the Cross
Leader:
Twelfth station: Jesus dies on the cross.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: 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”. . . 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 23:39-43,46).

Reader 2: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Christ Jesus, who died for us, indeed intercedes for us. (Romans 8:31-32, 34)

Reader 3: Christ did it out of love for you so that you can get to heaven. He gave you his entire self. Now ask yourself: What are you going to do for Christ? What do you do for Christ? Is what you do and suffer even close to what Christ did and suffered for you? (Centered on Christ, n. 595)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Holy Father, we are moved by the sight of your crucified Son cursed by his enemies, denied by his own and suffering in silence for love of us; we ask you for the courage to carry our cross with the optimism of a Christian who knows by faith the importance of his life in relation to eternity. Enable us to be Good Samaritans, helping others to carry their cross as well. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.

XIII

Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Leader:
Thirteenth station: Jesus is taken down from the cross.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: But one of the soldiers thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also come to believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” And again another passage says: “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body (John 19:34-38).

Reader 2: Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles; for the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (I Corinthians 1:22-23, 25)

Reader 3: Christ alone holds the keys of history. The past was from him, the present is from him, and the future will also be from him because he will continue reigning from his privileged throne of the cross.  (Centered on Christ, n. 523)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Lord, may our sufferings not drive us away from you but instead make us better understand what your Son, Jesus Christ, suffered during his passion, and draw us closer to him. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.


XIV

Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
Leader:
Fourteenth station: Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Presider:
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reader 1: After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid (Luke 23:53-54; Mark 15:46-47).

Reader 2: The time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me. (II Timothy 4:6-8)

Reader 3: Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death, did not ascend into heaven to wash his hands of this world. Rather, he went before us so that we, as members of his Mystical Body, may ardently hope to meet him in his Kingdom. (Centered on Christ, n. 739)

Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Father, help us to meditate on the mystery of the cross and delve into its depths, since therein lie our trust and our greatness. Grant that by dying and being buried with Christ, our poor, weak mortal life will be transfigured and raised with him, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.
All:
Amen.

CONCLUSION
Leader:
Let us pray.
Presider:
Either:
Lord, let your blessing descend abundantly on this family of yours which has commemorated the death of your Son in the hope of his holy resurrection. Let your pardon come upon us, grant us your consolation, increase our faith, and secure for us eternal redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Or:
Holy Father, step by step we have retraced the way of the cross. Grant us the grace of engraving on our minds and in our hearts the image of your Son crucified in the supreme act of love with which he shattered the bitterness and senselessness of suffering and turned it into joy and an indispensable means to salvation and holiness. May we respond with constant love to the constant presence of suffering in our lives, and match the depth of our suffering with the intensity of our self-giving. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-02-03


 
 


Follow us on:   
Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


Do you wish to addVia Crucis to your favorites?
Yes   -    No