MONDAY
April 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 92

FIRST STATION OF THE CROSS



  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.

   The Daily Way of the Cross is a way of prayer. One walks, in spirit, with Jesus on His journey to Calvary and meditates on His suffering and death. Each meditation can be a personal meeting with Jesus and a new discovery of His presence in one's life. Each meditation can be deeply personal by recalling specific persons places and experiences in one's own life. The following is a combination of meditative thoughts for each station and Pope John Paul II's own words from His Way of the Cross on Good Friday, April 21, 2000.

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

OPENING SCRIPTURE READING

"The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected, and to be raised up on the third day. If anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow Me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for My sake, that man will save it" (Luke 9: 22-24).

1. Jesus is condemned to die

    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, often I judge others and fail to be understanding or loving. Help me to see the people in my life through Your eyes, not the eyes of Pontius Pilate.

            For twenty centuries the Church has gathered on this evening to remember and to re-live the events of the final stage of the earthly journey of the Son of God. Once again this year, the Church in Rome meets at the Colosseum, to follow the footsteps of Jesus, Who "went out, carrying His cross, to the place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha" (John 19:17).

            We are here because we are convinced that the Way of the Cross of the Son of God was not simply a journey to the place of execution. We believe that every step of the Condemned Christ, every action and every word, as well as everything felt and done by those who took part in this tragic drama, continues to speak to us. In His suffering and death too, Christ reveals to us the truth about God and man.

            We want to concentrate on the full meaning of that event, so that what happened may speak with new power to our minds and hearts, and become the source of the grace of a real sharing in it.

            To share means to have a part. What does it mean to have a part in the Cross of Christ? It means to experience, in the Holy Spirit, the love hidden within the Cross of Christ. It means to recognize, in the light of this love, our own cross. It means to take up that cross once more and, strengthened by this love, to continue our journey... To journey through life, in imitation of the One "Who endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

        Brief pause for silence.

        Let us pray.

            Lord Jesus Christ, fill our hearts with the light of Your Spirit, so that by following You on Your final journey we may come to know the price of our Redemption and become worthy of a share in the fruits of Your Passion, Death and Resurrection. You Who live and reign for ever and ever.

        R. Amen.

        Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Tomorrow: Station Two: Jesus takes up His Cross.

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



April 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 92
HIS HOLINESS' WAY OF THE CROSS
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