Stations of the Cross

Last week, while on spring break, I had the chance to serve stations of the cross at St. Rose.  Since I was pulled in at the last minute, I was volunteered to carry the crucifix.  Getting to the point, our crucifix at St. Rose, while beautiful, is pretty heavy.  That combined with the fact that I had run directly beforehand (the kind of "beforehand" in which you are still sweating when you get to church after taking a shower) meant that my legs, back, and arms were all tired at different points during the devotion.  When we first got started, it was my legs.  While processing up to the altar I could feel that they were pretty sore/tired/weak.  However, by about station number 2 (Jesus accepts His cross) my legs were all but forgotten because a knot had formed in the middle of my back.  Of course I couldn't reach, or bend, or twist my back, so the knot just  sort of "settled" deeper, going from a biting, sharp, pain to a dull, throbbing soreness.  By about station 7 (Jesus falls the second time), I found that if I didn't try to straighten out my back the pain was tolerable.  Of course, a few stations later, in this case station 11 (Jesus is nailed to the cross), or so, my "problems" shifted to my arms.  It wasn't so much the pain, I mean my arms were pretty sore, I could feel the lactic acid building up in my muscles, but they were starting to get shaky and wobbly, and gravity seemed to get heavier and it took more effort to hold the crucifix off the floor.

Now, please don't feel any pity for my "pains" from serving stations; I don't think it knocked years off my life or anything, and the point of that long story was to get to the subject of stations, Jesus' suffering and death.  Stations of the cross have a way of poignantly bringing me "into" Lent.  I start to glimpse the immense, incredible, terrible suffering that Our Lord had to undergo to redeem mankind from their sins.  We do stations at Brute on Fridays, as I'm sure many parishes do, and on one Friday evening during the ride over to Marian to eat some of their interesting fried fish (a topic for a different day) one of the guys noted that praying stations of the cross mad him feel terrible.  Now, I'm not going to advocate that one should always think of themselves as terrible, but I think that in this case it is very much justified.  We literally, by sinning against God, needed a sacrifice of infinite value, of eternal applicability, of divine nature, to ransom us.  Our sins, because they are against an infinite God, who created us out of infinite love, are too big for us to make up for.  Thus, Jesus came to earth, became a man while remaining God, and died a horrible death as reparation for our sins.  He took the blame for our sins, He took the stain of our offences against God upon His spotlessness, He took upon Himself even death to fully redeem us.  He literally let us kill Him.  Yeah, we should feel terrible...  And that is exactly the feeling the stations brings out in me.  It deepens my love for Jesus through meditation on His infinite love.  

The 3rd, 7th, and 9th station are Jesus falling three times.  Imagine falling while carrying the cross:  Jesus has been humiliated, beaten till he was barely left alive, and sentenced to a horrible death.  Then a extremely heavy cross was thrown on top of him and he was told to carry it a few miles through the twisting streets of Jerusalem and up to Golgotha   Now, I just ran 3 miles - it wasn't twisty, I wasn't bleeding, or carrying the cross - and I still was hurting at the end.  Why would you, as a criminal sentenced to death, get up when you fell under the cross.  What are they going to threaten you with? Death?  Jesus got up, heaved the cross back onto His soldiers, and continued on - for me, for you, for humanity - for love of His creation.  Think about it folks - that's the love of God.

We have a day of recollection for the next day or so, so I won't be blogging.  Pray for me; I'll pray for all of you.  Have a wonderful, blessed, sanctifying, last week of Lent.


  1. Hi Domonic: Your Grandma shared your blogg with me. I enjoyed your description of the Stations of the Cross. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a penance just doing the up/down during the Station of the cross prayers, but no comparison to the weight Jesus carried for all of us.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I know exactly what you mean - our faith is one of joy, but that has to be backed up with the cross. It's weird, but the crucifixion was necessary for the resurrection. Have a wonderful Holy Week (and of course Easter)!