VIA CRUCIS (viacruci.htm)

Wednesday in Passion Week
March 31, 2004
vol. 15, no. 91

Poetic Reflections by Father Lawrence Smith on the Way of the Cross

3rd Station
Christ comes close to hear what Abel said:
    O fallen Lord, give heed to Abel
    whisp'ring in Thy ear the word that I
    have begged through stone and rain and autumn
    leaf to hear since man first learned to die.

    In righteousness I thirst for blood
    e'en tho' of it I've drunk a flood.

    Thou speaketh well of what thou can not;
    silent are the ones who thee call home.
    The word thou craved my death denieth
    not, 'tho' else it seems to worms in loam.

    How I might say what Life commands
    is diff'rent from the world's demands.

    Dear Jesus, to the ground Thy burden
    weighs Thee, forging man and Heaven's link;
    Thy Sacred Heart beseeches sweetly
    all the earth Thy Precious Blood to drink.

      When sin cries, "Justice!" Mercy hears,
      and thus the Word of God appears.

    "We approach Jesus and His sprinkled blood which speaks more eloquently than that of Abel." - Hebrews 12:24 (see Genesis 4:10ff).

2nd Station
Where the Cross is Jesus has a friend:

    Who gently lies against my bosom,
    firm caresses laying in my hands?
    Whose presence will not leave a
    child an orphan in these mortal lands?

    When friends are sources of distress
    then foes must be the ones to bless.

    Am I the Cross or He who carries
    crosses whom no other will take up
    and bear? This burden on my shoulder
    binds my love to hate as Bread and Cup;

    this Road I walk I walk within
    sad hearts whose paths are paved with sin.

    My Jesus, only one companion
    followed Thee from Pilate to the Place
    of Skulls, and there alone is certain
    to be found the wellspring of Thy Grace!

      I would have man stand next to Me
      by being fasten'd onto thee!

    And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. - Psalm 68:21 (see St. Matthew 10:38).

1st Station
Pilate will succeed where Herod failed:

    Thou art a fool, O Pontius Pilate,
    thinking that mere water can expunge
    the pool of blood thy coward's lying
    spills, wherein thy hands and soul now plunge.

    Thine efforts to be clean are vain
    for all who sin do bear thy stain.

    Thus I have found myself belonging
    to thy shameful brood. Where Herod miss'd
    and thou denied a part, in killing
    God, there I with Judas, Christ have kiss'd.

    The Babe within the manger bed
    from Whom comes Life in me lies dead.

    O Jesus, turn the clock to Christmas
    where the Via Dolorosa lay
    so far from sight. There's not, but let there
    be a chance to find some other way.

      My child, such foolish thoughts are naught
      for with His death thy life is bought.

    A sound of lamentation rose from Ramah, and Rachel would not be comforted. - see St. Matthew 2:13-23.

    Poetic Reflections by
    Father Lawrence Smith