April 10, 2001
volume 12, no. 100


  On Good Friday in 2000, the Holy Father led the Via Crucis meditations with his own words while leading the faithful on the traditional Papal Way of the Cross. His deep spirituality, renewed by a spontaneous visit to Mount Calvary, within the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre during his "Jubilee Journey" to the Holy Land last year is an inspiration we want to share with our readers.

A Plenary Indulgence is attached to this devotion according to article 194 of the Raccolta.

      Stabat Mater:

        At the Cross her station keeping
        stood the mournful Mother weeping,
        close to Jesus to the last.

8. Jesus comforts the Women of Jerusalem

    We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
    (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

        MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, Your great compassion for others overwhelms me. I feel petty and selfish when I think of You and the way You love. Help me to pour out my love, that You might fill me with Your Love.


      "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" (Luke 23:28-31).

        These are the words of Jesus to the women of Jerusalem who were weeping with compassion for the Condemned One.

        "Do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." At the time it was certainly difficult to understand the meaning of these words. They contained a prophecy that would soon come to pass. Shortly before, Jesus had wept over Jerusalem, foretelling the terrible fate that awaited the city. Now he seems to be referring again to that fate: "Weep for your children." Weep, because these, your very children, will be witnesses and will share in the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which "did not know the time of her visitation" (cf. Luke 19:44).

        If, as we follow Christ on the way of the Cross, our hearts are moved with pity for his suffering, we cannot forget that admonition. "For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" For our generation, which has just left a millennium behind, rather than weep for Christ crucified, it is now the time for us to recognize "the time of our visitation." Already the dawn of the resurrection is shining forth. "Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

        To each of us Christ addresses these words of the book of Revelation: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I Myself conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne" (3:20-2 1).


        O Christ, You came into this world to visit all those who await salvation. Grant that our generation will recognize the time of its visitation and share in the fruits of Your redemption. Do not permit that there should be weeping for us and for the men and women of the new century because we have rejected our merciful Father's outstretched hand. To You, O Jesus, born of the Virgin Daughter of Zion, be honor and praise for ever and ever.

    R. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Tomorrow: Station Nine: Jesus falls the Third Time.

For the shorter meditative group of lessons on the full Stations of the Cross, see WAY OF THE CROSS

For previous meditative Stations composed by the Holy Father, see:
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus willingly takes up His Cross
3. Jesus falls the First Time
4. Jesus meets His Blessed Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the Second Time

April 10, 2001
volume 12, no. 100
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