First Station

Jesus is condemned to death
We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

Scripture
Matthew 27:22-23, 26 Pilate said to them, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" All of them said, "Let him be crucified!" Then he asked, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!" So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

knows that the condemned man is innocent, and he looks for a way to free him. But his heart is divided. And in the end he lets his own position, his own selfinterest, prevail over what is right. Nor are the men who are shouting and demanding the death of Jesus utterly evil. Many of them, on the day of Pentecost, will feel "cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37), when Peter will say to them: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God ... you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law" (Acts 2:22ff.). But at that moment they are caught up in the crowd. They are shouting because everyone else is shouting, and they are shouting the same thing that everyone else is shouting. And in this way, justice is trampled underfoot by weakness, cowardice and fear of the diktat of the ruling mind-set. The quiet voice of conscience is drowned out by the cries of the crowd. Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.

times have we ourselves preferred success to the truth, our reputation to justice? Strengthen the quiet voice of our conscience, your own voice, in our lives. Look at me as you looked at Peter after his denial. Let your gaze penetrate our hearts and indicate the direction our lives must take. On the day of Pentecost you stirred the hearts of those who, on Good Friday, clamoured for your death, and you brought them to conversion. In this way you gave hope to all. Grant us, ever anew, the grace of conversion. Help me to be grateful for what you did for me. Help me to accept criticism and prejudice as you did. Help me pray for those who have hurt and affronted me. Grant us patience in times of suffering, that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise. Give us your sense of righteousness that we may never cease to work, to bring about justice of the kingdom that you promised. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. All: Have mercy on us. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace. All: Amen

Prayer
Jesus, You devoted your entire life in serving others, listening to the smallest ones, caring for those who were ignored by others. Never permit me to separate myself from You again. Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me what You will. You were condemned to death because fear of what other people may think suppressed the voice of conscience. So too, throughout history, the innocent have always been maltreated, condemned and killed. How many

Reflection
Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross. The Judge of the world, who will come again to judge us all, stands there, dishonoured and defenceless before the earthly judge. Pilate is not utterly evil. He

. All: Have mercy on Us. I beg You. the burden of being human.. saying. O Christ. and for us offered to His Father the death He was about to . but this very mockery lays bare a painful truth. condemned as an imposter king. How often are the symbols of power. King of the Jews!" They spat on him. and not to shun it. and they gathered the whole cohort around him. The price of justice in this world is suffering: Jesus. Who by own will did take on the most heavy cross made for by my sins. My Jesus. the true King. Rest in peace.. Hail Mary. to your will. Then they led him away to crucify him. but you accepted it and carried it just the same. to justice and to the dignity of man! How many times are their pomps and their lofty words nothing but grandiose lies. Glory Be to the Father. and weep for them ever while live. by the merits of the pain You endured in carrying Your Cross. they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him...Second Station Jesus carries His cross We adore You. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. He takes up the Cross. All: Amen. "Hail. which ridicules our obedience Reflection Consider how Jesus. in submitting to its demands.. Lord. the burden of the world.. Psalm 45:7). is mocked. Help us to acknowledge your face in the lowly and the outcast. borne by the great ones of this world. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him. and we bless You. and after twisting some thorns into a crown. You carried your own Cross and you ask us to follow you on this path (cf. Our Father. May we never lose heart when faced with the contempt of this world. they put it on his head. After mocking him.. thought of use. Matthew 10:38). I embrace all the hardships You have destined for me until death. Prayer Jesus. to find true joy. And so he goes before us and points out to us the way which leads to true life. May we never complain or become discouraged by life's trials. Help us to take up the Cross. You knew it wouldn't be easy. Help us not to ally ourselves with those who look down on the weak and suffering. because by Your holy Cross. His sceptre is justice (cf. does not reign through violence. you willingly subjected yourself to mockery and scorn. make me feel their heavy weight.. undergo. but through a love which suffers for us and with us. as you accepted your cross. Grant that I may love You always. You have redeemed the world. you knew you would carry it to your death on Calvary. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. Scripture Matthew 27:27-31 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters. in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders. My beloved Jesus. an affront to truth. a parody of their solemn obligation to serve the common good! It is because Jesus is mocked and wears the crown of suffering that he appears as the true King. and took the reed and struck him on the head. Help us to follow the path of love and. and then do with me what You will. Jesus. our cross. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. through the mercy of God. to give me the obligatory to carry mine with full patience and acceptance.

. All: Have mercy on Us. and thus He fell several times in His journey. The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise. the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement. brought you down. on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. upon him was the chastisement that made us whole. to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters. as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: "though he was in the form of God. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death. but a mockery of the Creator. In Jesus' fall beneath the weight of the Cross. and then do with me what You will.. even death on a Cross" (Philippians 2:6-8). O Christ. and He had lost a great quantity of blood. Reflection Consider this first fall of Jesus under His Cross. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. by learning from your humility. to rise again. to be bought and sold. Hail Mary. The weight of our sin.. which have made You suffer so much pain. yet we esteemed him stricken. and we bless You. and with his stripes we are healed. we fall headlong and plunge into self-destruction. we were laid low. You came to us when. yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity. Scripture Book of the Prophet Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he has born our grieves and carried our sorrows. exhausted from his scourging. All: Amen. You are getting weak and almost ready to limp. His flesh was torn by the scourges. we hope to conquer death by our own efforts. Our Father. fell among robbers who stripped him and left him half-dead and bleeding beside the road. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. By the merits of this first fall. by his abasement he lifts us up. through the mercy of God. or mere human weakness. There is a more profound meaning in this fall. deliver me from the tribulations of falling into mortal sin. but can be the masters of our own lives. He was so weakened that He could scarcely walk. In doing this. taking the form of a servant. The weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. with my whole heart.. Never permit me to offend You again. no longer the image of God. Grant that may the grace aid me never more to commit sins. in our pride. being born in the likeness of men. Grant that I may love You always. The humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride. because by Your holy Cross. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency. and yet He had to carry this great load upon His shoulders. . the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus' fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus. Rest in peace. the weight of our pride... But your fall is not a tragedy. Jesus. smitten by God. The soldiers struck Him rudely. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and.. we have fallen. Lord help us. it is not the burden of the Cross. the arrogance which makes us think that we do not need his eternal love. None seems to want to help you. Let us allow him to lift us up.. In this rebellion against truth. and afflicted. and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. But he was wounded for our transgressions. which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. The nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves. but emptied himself. or stored to provide parts for experimentation.Third Station Jesus falls the first time We adore You. Glory Be to the Father. His head crowed with thorns. O my Jesus. Prayer Jesus. but my sins. We all like sheep have gone astray. in this attempt to be our own god. he was bruised for our iniquities. the cross you have been carrying is heavy.. Is not the man who. the One who humbled himself. he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. I repent of having offended You. our false illusions of independence. creator and judge. and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself. we have turned everyone to his own way. and learn from him. You have redeemed the world... The soldiers were yelling at you and try to get you up and moving again as if they don·t feel how hard you·re situation is going on. as you fall down. Man has fallen.

She stayed there. Mary" (Luke 1:30). soreness stop. It was said to Mary: "And behold.. Never permit me to offend You again... She does understand and concern about You. Prayer Jesus. at the hour of the Cross. yet she did not flee. a Mother's fidelity.Fourth Station Jesus meets His mother We adore You. She also had to hear the words: "Who is my mother and who are my brothers? . that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed. Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus. During his public life she had to step aside. because by Your holy Cross. And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: "A sword will pierce through your own soul" (Luke 2:35). You see your mother. Glory be to the Father. The disciples fled. She would then recall the words of the prophets. Our Father.. All: Have mercy on Us. Mother of God. and he was afflicted. Mary.51 Simon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "Behold. and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:48-50). Rest in peace. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is brother. Hail Mary. we also find Mary. and then do with me what You will.. through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also). in this moment Jesus knows: he will find faith. you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Just as you believed the angels· incredible message -.). Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. when the Son of man comes. and a faith which did not waver in the hour of darkness: "Blessed is she who believed" (Luke 1:45). the Mother of the Church. Grant that I may love You always. In this way. my Queen. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel. at the hour of the world's darkest night. Reflection Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother. my Jesus. On Jesus' Way of the Cross. acquire for me by your intercession a persistent remembrance of the Passion of your Son. he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter" (Isaiah 54:7). Jesus and Mary looked at each other. will he find faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8). And you. where she is suffering with you. but also in her heart. You don't like the words they are saying about you. and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.. O Christ. which took place on this journey. as you look for a gracious face in the crowd. to make place for the birth of Jesus' new family. so too you believed at the hour of his greatest abasement. this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel. with a Mother's courage.. She can't make the Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. We beg you: teach us to believe. not only physically. who were besieged with pain. the family of his disciples. "Nevertheless. his Mother. Now it all takes place. words like these: "He was oppressed.. Scripture Luke 2:34-35. you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. spoken to her in the beginning: "Do not be afraid. You have redeemed the world. All: Amen. yet he opened not his mouth. I repent of ever having offended You. and we bless You. By the sorrow You encountered in this event. you feel so deserted with all those people yelling and screaming over you. In this hour. Lord Jesus. He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David" (Luke 1:31ff. Even before she conceived him bodily..that you would become the Mother of the Most High. but it helps to see that she is on your side. through the mercy of God. Yes. a Mother's goodness. and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance. this is his great consolation. . you became the Mother of all believers. confer me the grace of an indeed devoted love for Your most righteous Mother.." And his mother kept all these things in her heart..

when we share in your suffering and the sufferings of this world. they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. Help us to aid our neighbours in .. let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. but also his children. the grace of faith. Help us to realize that it is a grace to be able to share the cross of others and. Simon of Cyrene is on his way home.. seeing that at each step Jesus from weakness was on the point of expiring. They are scared you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. returning from work. whose divine love alone can redeem all humanity. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. as the Cyrenian did. blest. Grant that I may love you always. Mark 15:21). perhaps. the persecuted and defenseless. In this way we obtain salvation. I love You. Jesus... My Jesus.. and share in their sufferings. How annoying he must have thought it to be suddenly caught up in the fate of those condemned men! He does what he must do. He was just watching what was happening. I repent of having offended You. Scripture Matthew 27:32. and fearing that He would die on the way. we become servants of salvation and are able to help build up your Body. You have redeemed the world. faith was born. they came upon a man of Cyrene. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. Hail Mary.Fifth Station Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His cross We adore You. constrained Simon the Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind our Lord. Help me by Your grace. Jesus. You opened the eyes and heart of Simon of Cyrene. give me grace to do so. From this chance encounter. Help us to appreciate with joy that. know that we are walking with you along the way. but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross. with all the pains that may accompany it. thrice blest was he who aided You to convey the cross. Whenever we show kindness to the suffering. even when this interferes with our own plans and desires. Colossian 1:24). I embrace it.. I accept in particular the death You have destined for me. came to see that it was a grace to be able to accompany him to his crucifixion and to help him. but reluctantly. it was a common sight. Prayer Reflection Consider how the Jews. walking beside Jesus and sharing the burden of the Cross. need. Glory be to the Father. Jesus told his disciples: "If any man would come after me. we help to carry that same Cross of Jesus. and then do with me what You will. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. in this way. touched his heart." The soldiers force this rugged man from the country to carry the Cross on his own shoulders.. by patiently bowing my neck to the crosses You shall send me during life. and we bless You. Never permit me to offend You again. You have died for love of me. the Church. Our Father. The Cyrenian. Simon by name. 16:24 As they went out. by his share in your Cross. Jesus my love. and to please You. I offer it to You. The mystery of Jesus. I will die for love of You. I accept it. I will not refuse the Cross. All: Amen. My Jesus. when they wished Him to die the ignominious death of the Cross. Significantly.for him. through the mercy of God. the soldiers are becoming anxious.. My beloved Jesus. wants us to share his Cross so that we can complete what is still lacking in his suffering (cf. Rest in peace. All: Have mercy on Us. who were evidently known as Christians and as members of that community (cf. O Christ. the Evangelist Mark does not only name him. this man they compelled to carry his cross. As you grow weaker. because by Your holy Cross. I unite it to Your death. silent and suffering. and help contribute to the salvation of the world. and you gave him. when he comes upon the sad procession of those condemned -. Blest too shall I be if I aid You to bear the cross.

Lord. "Your face." Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger.. unexpectedly a woman comes out of the crowd. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. My beloved Jesus. when it received Your grace in Baptism. Your face was delightful before. "Blessed are the pure in heart. though. Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognize your presence in the world. Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face. Veronica -. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see. who." the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount. Rest in peace. but I have ruined it by my sins.. through the mercy of God. Never permit me to offend You again. because by Your holy Cross. All: Amen. Our Father. amid turmoil and dismay.. the yearning of all believers to see the face of God. Do this by Your Passion. she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus... shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. and no beauty that we should desire him. Glory be to the Father. Grant that I may love you always. She is the image of that good woman. seeing Jesus so afflicted. but in Reflection Consider how the holy woman named Veronica. Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself. Lord. but she offers what little help she can. and acquainted with grief. she saw the face of God and his goodness. a man of sorrows. Scripture Book of the Prophet Isaiah 53:2-3 He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him. Prayer Jesus. grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. May we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world. At first. She can't do much. "Seek my face. which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. He was despised and rejected by men. and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised. presented Him with a towel. Book of Psalms 27:8-9 You have said. Who condescend to print the sacred face upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off the brow. Her name is Veronica. Impress your face on our hearts. You have redeemed the world. You alone.. O God of my salvation. print in my soul deep. my Redeemer. you who have been my help. and His face bathed in sweat and blood." My heart says to you. Lord. I repent of having offended You. in the Greek tradition -embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament.Bernice.Sixth Station Veronica wipes the face of Jesus We adore You. O Christ. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. My soul also was once gentle and nice. O Jesus. hearts which seek your face. can restore it to its former magnificence. Cast me not off. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. When we are not able to accomplish great things. "Your face. do I seek. the lasting memory of Your bitter pains.. and then do with me what You will. . You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face.. and we esteemed him not. Hail Mary. "for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). grant us restless hearts. and lesion and blood have damaged it. Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his human face. Hide not your face from me" (Psalm 27:8-9).. with which He wiped His adorable face. My tender Jesus. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things. forsake me not. On Jesus' Way of the Cross. bloodied and bruised. and we bless You. this journey it has lost all its beauty. All: Have mercy on Us. leaving on it the impression of His holy countenance. do I seek. Only with the heart can we see Jesus. I pray for You.

Never permit me to offend You again. which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all. and made me cower in ashes. As the cross becomes heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. He has made my teeth grind on gravel. a heart capable of seeing. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed.. My Jesus. Free us from the bonds of lust. for by ourselves we cannot rise from the dust.. I love You. he falls in order to raise us up. Give us hope at every moment of darkness. Do not let the wall of materialism become insurmountable. have ended up doing away with man.the state of fallen humanity -. O Christ. You don't give up. Jesus my love. The Lord bears this burden and falls. Our weight has made you fall. Scripture Book of Lamentations 3:1-2.and the mystery of Jesus' own sharing in our fall. He gazes on us. He has blocked my way with hewn stones. Make us aware of your presence. Help us to recognize the spiritual and material needs of others. so that we may lift others up. Prayer This is the second time you have fallen on Your path. Lay low the power of ideologies. help me get up and keep striving as you did. over and over again. Grant that I may love You always. The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam -. because by Your holy Cross. Our Father. and to give them the help they need. in more recent times. Reflection Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross . through the mercy of God. Lord Jesus Christ.a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds of the head and members of our afflicted Lord. Rest in peace. But we can also think. so that we may bring your hope to the world.. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. give me the necessary help to persevere in Your grace until death. Help me to use the efficient means of grace that I may never fall again. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. you have borne all our burdens and you continue to carry us. he touches our hearts. and begun again to offend You! By the merits of this new fall. and we bless You. so that all may see that they are a web of lies. Saint John speaks . with all its excesses and perversions. But you continue to work hard and try until you're up and walking again. he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. Hail Mary... with my whole heart. How many times You have pardoned me. I repent of having offended You. In place of a heart of stone. by sin. in order to meet us. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time. Grant that in all temptations which assault me I may always commend myself to You.Seventh Station Jesus falls the second time We adore You. All: Have Mercy on Us. You have redeemed the world. give us a heart of flesh. often have I sinned and often. and then do with me what You will. capable of resisting the forces of evil. beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. he has made my paths crooked.16 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath. In his First Letter. And so man lies fallen in the dust. Lift us up.9. Help me to do my best without comparing myself with others. who simply drift through life. have built a new and worse paganism. and the banal existence of those who no longer believing in anything.. Keep us sober and vigilant. Even when it's hard. lust of the eyes and the pride of life.. and how many times have I fallen again. of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies. Lift us up. Glory be to the Father. of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh. All: Amen... Help me when things seem difficult for me.

Grant that in the end we will not be dry wood. which salves our consciences and allows us to carry on as before. How should we understand his words? Are they not directed at a piety which is purely sentimental. despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering. But Jesus said to them: Weep not for Me. "We are only human!" Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son. the days are coming when they will say. but living branches in you. Never permit me to offend You again. more than the fear of hell.. All: Amen. but for your children. which causes me to weep for my sins. I weep for the offenses I have committed against You. "Daughters of Jerusalem. print in my soul deep. I love You more than myself. with nothing to offer other than compassionate words.. 'Cover us. weep for yourselves .' and to the hills. what will happen when it is dry?" me so much. the true vine. You call us to leave behind the trivialization of evil. Who didst deign to print Thy sacred face upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off Thy brow. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves. O Christ. Grant that we may not simply walk at your side. one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith? It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. For behold. All: Have mercy on Us. through the mercy of God. Scripture Luke 23:28-31 Jesus turning to them said. because by Your holy Cross. laden with sorrows. the danger of our being found guilty and without excuse on the Day of Judgment. Before the image of the suffering Lord. Who have loved . we see more clearly the seriousness of sin. streaming with blood. My tender Jesus. but weep for yourselves and for your children. John 15:1-10). Grant that I may love you always. evil can no longer be trivialized. and then do with me what You will. Prayer My Jesus. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. to the weeping women you spoke of repentance and the Day of Judgment.. You have redeemed the world.. My Jesus. the Judge of the world. Rest in peace. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgment. we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus. what will happen when it is dry?" Hearing Jesus reproach the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him ought to make us reflect.' For if they do this when the wood is green. 'fall on us.Eighth Station Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem We adore You.. 'Blessed are the barren. as He walked along. and the wombs that never bore. To us too. and we bless You. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. the lasting memory of Thy bitter pains. You show us the seriousness of our responsibility. I repent of having offended You. Convert us and give us new life. Hail Mary. because of the pains they have deserved. and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome. It is Your love. bearing fruit for eternal life (cf... Glory be to the Father. Can it be that. and quietly set aside the word of judgment? "How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?" we say.. when all of us will stand before your face: before you.. do not weep for me. Our Father. I pray Thee. Lord. Reflection Consider how those women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state. if they do this when the wood is green. and still more because of the displeasure they have caused You. he says: "Do not weep for me.. and the breasts that never gave suck!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains..

Scripture Book of Lamentations 3:27-32 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. you will remain prostrate and overpowered. Have mercy on your Church. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. according to the abundance of his steadfast love. O Christ. For the Lord will not cast off forever. let him put his mouth in the dust -. Lord. Never permit me to offend You again. and we praise you. with my whole heart. His weakness was extreme.there may yet be hope. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Save and sanctify us all. which have led me to despise Your friendship. we drag you down to earth.Ninth Station Jesus falls the third time We adore you. in the priesthood. but. Matthew 8: 25). though he cause grief. What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general. is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer. and even among those who. O Christ. ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride. His betrayal by his disciples. and all my wicked passions. he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church. where he waits for us. Save and sanctify your Church. a boat taking in water on every side. after all our lofty words and grand gestures. how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves. and then do with me what You will. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison -. your Church often seems like a boat about to sink. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him. I repent of having offended You. he will have compassion. who tried to hasten His steps when He had scarcely strength to move. for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall. You stood up. ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. let him give his cheek to the smiter. We adore You. Grant that I may love you always. and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. and Satan laughs. their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood. without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories. Adam continues to fall.Lord. Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world. Jesus my love. save us (cf. When we fall. because by Your Holy Cross. it pierces his heart. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused. by the merits of the weakness You suffered in going to Calvary. I love You. But you will rise again. and be filled with insults. them! It is we who betray you time and time again. within her too. give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled . and we bless You. how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Prayer My outrageous Jesus. you arose and you can also raise us up. and the cruelty of His executioners excessive. so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church. You have redeemed the world. Reflection Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ.

"woven without seam from top to bottom" (John 19:23). for all its bitterness. The moment of the stripping reminds us of the expulsion from Paradise: God's splendour has fallen away from man. Grant that I may love you always. Stripped of his garments. by the merits of the torment You have felt. O Christ. My innocent Jesus.Tenth Station Jesus· clothes are taken away We adore You." without stitching (Fl. but when he tasted it. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam. Compassionate your Saviour thus cruelly treated. and then do with me what You will. Never permit me to offend You again. Prayer Lord Jesus. the outcasts of our world. with my whole heart. Josephus. the Crucified One. by doing so they tell us the same thing that Jesus would tell his disciples on the road to Emmaus: that everything takes place "according to the Scriptures. who are so worthy of my love. I repent of having offended You. who now stands naked and exposed. . His inner garments adhered to His flesh. becomes a step toward our redemption: this is how he carries home the lost sheep. and say to Him: Jesus is stripped of his garments. The Evangelists describe the scene with words drawn from Psalm 22:19. he is simply an outcast. he would not drink it. the soldiers draw lots to divide his paltry possessions. help me to strip myself of all affection to things of earth. O Jesus. everything that happens is contained in the Word of God and sustained by his divine plan. it makes him someone. This is how you bring meaning into apparent meaninglessness. and you healed it. Clothing gives a man his social position. Clothe us in the light of your grace. a III. is the true High Priest. which was "woven from a single thread. yet each of these steps. in order that I may place all my love in You. then they sat down and kept watch over him there. His public stripping means that Jesus is no longer anything at all. he reminds us that we have all lost the "first garment" that is God's splendour. it gives him his place in society. despised by all alike. unclad and ashamed. they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Reflection Consider the violence with which the executioners stripped Jesus. And when they had crucified him. I love You. and we bless You. Let us not forget that John says that lots were drawn for Jesus' tunic. and the whole world in his hands. you were stripped of your garments. At the foot of the Cross. and in all the situations in which we encounter him. The Lord passes through all the stages and steps of man's fall from grace. You also take upon yourself the sufferings and the needs of the poor. because by Your holy Cross. cast out of society." Nothing is mere coincidence. us. 161). they offered him wine to drink. You have redeemed the world. mingled with gall. This is how you make us realize that your Father holds you. Scripture Matthew 27:33-36 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And so Jesus once more takes on the condition of fallen man. and they dragged them off so roughly that the skin came with them. And in this very way you fulfil the words of the prophets. We may consider this as a reference to the High Priest's robe. his clothes. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence. exposed to shame. For he.

"As one from whom men hide their faces. And those who passed by derided him. rejected by the people" (Psalm 22:7). Prayer Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture Matthew 27:37-42 And over his head they put the charge against him. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast. that it may ever remain there. Grant that I may love you always. As we stand before the condemned Lord." Then two robbers were crucified with him. accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering. allowed Him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Ignatius of Antioch. and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. His whole body is racked. wagging their heads and saying. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the pain of the Crucifixion. and. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure. because by Your holy Cross. praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were. Help us to remain faithful to you. saying. he was despised . and them. "He saved others. resisting the temptation to stand apart. . O Christ. Let us nail ourselves to him. the words of the Psalm have come to pass: "But I am a worm and no man. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon. May we never flee from what we are called to do. the destruction of your body and your dignity. nailed with flesh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). he cannot save himself. "This is Jesus the King of the Jews. and never leave You again. a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord. raising the Cross. which read. save yourself! If you are the Son of God. before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation. let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him. "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days. scorned by men. The shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods.Eleventh Station Jesus is nailed to the cross We adore You. extended His hands. come down from the Cross. another thought comes to mind. Let us halt before this image of pain.. but endured its suffering to the end. and then do with me what You will." So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him. and we bless You. You have redeemed the world. and offered to His Eternal Father the sacrifice of His death for our salvation. who did not use his power to come down from the Cross. after being thrown on the Cross.). These barbarians fastened Him with nails. you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. Never permit me to offend You again. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. "bound" fast to you. I love You more than myself. so to speak. My Jesus! loaded with contempt. one on the right hand and one on the left. He is the King of Israel. Help us to accept your "binding" freedom. you let yourself be nailed to the Cross." Reflection Consider how Jesus. surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3f. or to join others in mocking him. nail my heart to Your feet.. I repent of having offended You. to discover true freedom. to love You.

By the merits of Your death. Lord Jesus Christ. Yet now the title can remain publicly displayed above the Crucified Christ. Now we know what true kingship is. indicating who he was: the King of the Jews. Help us to recognize your face at this hour of darkness and tribulation. Precisely by being the one who suffers and loves. you are exalted. lama sabachthani?" That is. and he makes God present in the very place where he seems definitively vanquished and absent. at the hour of your death the sun was darkened. Now we know who God is. and in Greek.ever anew. "Truly this was the Son of God!" the drama of God's darkness. gave it to him to drink. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice. Ever anew you are being nailed to the Cross." Many of the Jews read this title. the King of the Jews. The world is darkened. and burning with love for You. became a prophet despite himself. when the Son of God is given up to death. which begins with the words: "My God. In Greek and Latin. Now he has radically fulfilled the commandment of love. The earth trembles. And on the Cross. From the Cross on high you have triumphed. Jesus prays Psalm 22. I love You with my whole heart. why have you forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders hearing it said. human idea of power and deliverance.54 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour." because it would have suggested a mistaken. The kingship of Jesus was proclaimed before the entire world. and in Hebrew. He is indeed the king of the world. Never permit me to offend You again. after three house' Agony on the Cross. Through your great sufferings and the wickedness of men. He takes to himself the whole suffering people of Israel. I kiss devoutly the Cross on which You died for love of me. give me grace to die. I repent of having offended You. Scripture John 19:19-20 Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the Cross. the promised Son of David. because by Your holy Cross. the face of God. abandons Himself to the weight of His body." When the centurion and those who were with him. O my dying Jesus. embracing Your feet. "My God. and we bless You. Jesus himself had not accepted the title "Messiah. Prayer Reflection Consider how your Jesus. your face." And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. Help us to believe in you and to follow you in our hour of darkness and need. saw the earthquake and what took place. he has completed the offering of himself. they were filled with awe. a sign stood above the Cross of Jesus. for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. in Latin. You have redeemed the world. you have revealed yourself. I have merited by my sins to die a miserable death. and it was written in Hebrew. why have you forsaken me?" (Psalm 22:2). And yet. Reveal to us your salvation." And one of them at once ran and took a sponge. consumed at length with anguish. it read. "This man is calling Elijah. and put it on a reed. At this present hour of history we are living in God's darkness. and said. the two international languages of the time. Grant that I may love you always. and in this way he is now the revelation of the true God. Now he is truly "lifted up. "Eli. filled it with vinegar. let us see whether Elijah will come to save him. the language of the Chosen People. the God who is love. seems obscured. on the Cross. keeping watch over Jesus. I yield my soul into Your hands. but Your death is my hope.Twelfth Station Jesus dies on the cross We adore You. Show yourself once more to the world at this hour. and then do with me what You will. But the others said. unrecognizable. the Church of the Gentiles is born. Eli. my God. Pilate. and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God. "Wait. and dies. O Christ." In sinking to the depths he rose to the heights. From the Cross he triumphs -. The Roman centurion understands this. "Jesus of Nazareth. the unjust judge. bows His head. Matthew 27:45-50. my God. all of suffering humanity. and . The Cross of Jesus is a cosmic event.

There are faithful ones who remain with him." In the hour of darkness. help us to know that you are still there. O Christ. A wealthy man. Help us not to leave you alone. looking on from afar. there is a believer. at the end of his sufferings. his Creator. and thus to prepare a garden for the Resurrection. Lord. someone who knows and recognizes Jesus after his death. he was never alone. it is clear that. the poor and rich. begins to take shape. The Church of Jesus Christ. But your body is placed in good hands and wrapped in a white shroud (Matthew 27:59). Give us the fidelity to withstand moments of confusion and a love ready to embrace you in your utter helplessness. to whom Jesus had proclaimed the mystery of rebirth by water and the Spirit. and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother. for all the power of hatred and cowardice. like those of the two men crucified with him. Help us. the sun has not completely set. Joseph of Arimathea. two of His disciples. Mary Magdalen and the disciple whom he loved. by which the Church is constantly reborn from the opened heart of the Lord. He is thus revealed as the true Paschal lamb. At Jesus' burial. since You have died for me. the cemetery becomes a garden. because by Your holy Cross. Do not abandon us when we are tempted to lose heart. and nothing more. to look beyond all our fears and prejudices. for I wish only You. took Him down from the Cross. He buries Jesus in his own empty tomb. my Jesus. and we bless You. Scripture Matthew 27:54-55 When the centurion and those who were with him. Even in the night of death. appears on the scene: a rich man is able to pass through the eye of a needle. not one of whose bones must be broken («). they were filled with awe. Baptism and the Eucharist. for God has given him the grace. and I repent of ever having offended You. . permit me to love You. his new family. Never permit me to offend You again. How often does it appear that you are asleep? How easy it is for us to step back and say to ourselves: "God is dead. In this hour of immense grief. "Truly this was the Son of God!" There were also many women there. Jesus is dead. you descended into the darkness of death. And now. and to offer you our abilities. Grant that I may love you always. ever near. Jesus' legs are not broken. saw the earthquake and what took place. flow blood and water: a mysterious image of the stream of the sacraments.Thirteenth Station The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross We adore You. who once more holds you to her breast. Mary. A member of the Sanhedrin also comes along. his Mother. my Redeemer. who had followed Jesus from Galilee. Even in the Sanhedrin. The garden tomb symbolizes that the dominion of death is about to end. Nicodemus. pierced by the lance of the Roman soldier. for the love of this Son. Joseph and Nicodemus. and said. of darkness and despair. for all the dismay which filled men's hearts. like your Mother. the Lord continues to be our Lord and Savior. and pressed Him to her bosom. in a garden. the sister of his Mother. and pray to Him for me. and then do with me what You will. our hearts and our time. And You. simple and learned. Under the Cross stands Mary. I love You. The hidden God continues to be the God of life. You have redeemed the world. Prayer O mother of sorrow. ministering to him. keeping watch over Jesus. the garden from which Adam was cast out when he abandoned the fullness of life. after the death of our Lord. who received Him with unutterable tenderness. accept me for your servant. From his heart. Faith has not completely died. Reflection Consider how. the light of hope is mysteriously present. which decreed his death.

the source of our life. The mystery of the Eucharist already shines forth in the burial of Jesus. who arranged It in the sepulcher with her own hands. to praise You and love You forever.Fourteenth Station Jesus is laid in the tomb We adore You. Jesus is the bread of life which can satisfy superabundantly the hunger of all humanity and provide its deepest nourishment. and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud. Jesus' words are fulfilled: "Truly. and have made a place for our transfigured flesh in the very heart of God. you could not remain enclosed in the tomb: the tomb is empty because he -. make me rise glorious with You at the last day. You have redeemed the world. then we for our part should consider nothing too much for God."did not abandon you to the nether world. Like the grain of wheat which rises from the earth. Through the death of the grain of wheat you give us yourself. sitting opposite the sepulchre. Prayer Oh.the Father -.). the Bread of heaven. in your burial you have taken on the death of the grain of wheat. We are the aroma of Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14ff. but if it dies. putting forth its stalk and then its ear. From that lifeless grain of wheat comes forth the great multiplication of bread which will endure until the end of the world. This is the teaching of Jesus himself. God offers himself unstintingly. Ps 16:10 LXX). as at his anointing in Bethany. The eternal Word. I say to you. has become a Word which is close to us: you put yourself into our hands and into our hearts. Help us to become witnesses of your Resurrection. disgraced and mistreated. At the very moment of his burial. Never permit me to offend You again. accompanied by His holy Mother. by Your resurrection. and we bless You. But we should also remember the words of Saint Paul. and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb." and to make known in this world the mysterious traces of your life. Jesus. I beg You. O Christ. in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:20). the Bread of Life. and then do with me what You will. you did not see corruption. truly. the eternal Word of God became flesh and bread for us. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there. is honorably buried in a new tomb. and departed. so that we too can trust the promise of the grain of wheat. through his Incarnation and death. who says that God "through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. Help us to rejoice in this hope and bring it joyfully to the world. Nicodemus brings a mixture of myrrh and aloes. From the tomb shines forth in every generation the promise of the grain of wheat which gives rise to the true manna. In the Son's self-offering. If God's measure is superabundance. in which you offer us your very self. my buried Jesus. we see an "excess" which evokes God's generous and superabundant love. and I repent of ever having offended You. Help us to become your "fragrance. about a hundred pounds weight. Through his Cross and Resurrection. You have risen. Grant that I may love you always. unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies. Help us grow in love and veneration for your Eucharistic mystery -. our faith needs once more to be the fragrance which returns us to the path of life. Reflection Consider how the disciples carried the body of Jesus to bury it. and laid it in his own new tomb. and all withdrew. I love You. which he had hewn in the rock. to be always united with You in heaven. it remains alone. Scripture Matthew 27:59-61 Joseph took the body. . They then closed the tomb. so that we too can dare to lose our life in order to find it. But You rose again the third day. so that your word can grow within us and bear fruit. No. nor let your flesh see corruption" (Acts 2:31. which gives off a precious scent. Jesus is the grain of wheat which dies. it bears much fruit" (John 12:24).to make you. You have become the lifeless grain of wheat which produces abundant fruit for every age and for all eternity. Lord Jesus Christ. I kiss the stone that encloses You. because by Your holy Cross. Amid the decay of ideologies.