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Lenten soul

Lent is the time to prepare for Easter. One of the opportunities that Catholic Church provides is the Stations of the Cross. That's when you meditate upon the events that led Jesus towards Hid death.



I got very impressed once hearing a priest doing the Stations of the Cross. He used his own thoughts about every station rather than reading the given text.

I'll attempt to do the same.


Here are my 14 stations with thoughts and questions, illustrated by the pictures taken at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, in Shelby Township, MI.


1. Jesus is condemned to death.



Have I ever condemned someone? What was the reasoning behind it? They look different. Talk different. Think different. Jesus was different. He was good in every aspect and that's often hard to bear. He was piercing people with goodness. It's very simple. I'm not often that good.


2. Jesus takes up His Cross.



How do I handle difficult situations? Even small ones, like being tired or not understood. Jesus took the Cross knowing that it was His Father's will. Does it make it easier for me? No... I like the advice that I heard many times when you suffer, hug Jesus' Cross.


3. Jesus falls for the first time.



What happens when I let down others but more importantly myself? I always try to do good... but I sometimes fail. Is this due to my poor decisions? Or is it for me to learn and eventually rely more on Jesus than myself?


4. Jesus meets His Mother.



When someone I love suffers, how do I deal with it? Am I helpful and focus purely on them? Or do I redirect the effects of that suffering on myself? Mary, Mother of Jesus, please give me your strength.


5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross.



Am I willing to help others in need even if it's uncomfortable? The very often, convenient answer is: it depends. I always help my little children knowing they can't do stuff themselves. If it comes to strangers... I'm not sure if I do. Jesus said "all the things you do unto others, do unto me".


6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.



I like to think that I help people. Do I help Jesus? I must ask Him. Usually there's a pay back when I help someone like some unexpected reward or just inner joy. Veronica got it too. Jesus teach me to help selflessly.


7. Jesus falls for the second time.



When I really desire something, yet this seems impossible to achieve it, how bad is it on me? I get upset or frustrated and contemplate self pity. Jesus got up though. He always encourages me to get up too.


8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.



Am I able to get over my own pain to meet others right where they are? Not every time. I struggle to accept my difficulties. I do, however, look at others through my own sufferings. Jesus please give me comfort when I need it.


9. Jesus falls for the third time.



In my darkest days, what do I do? I freeze. Wait till it's over. Ask Jesus to save me from myself and heal me from my physical and emotional sicknesses.


10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.



When my positions, beautiful things are taken away or simply broken, what does it trigger in me? What if the actions I put so many efforts in, didn't work? Or even no one is being impressed by my brilliant ideas? My pride is diminishing but it hurts.


11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross.



I had pains in life. I delivered babies. I was humiliated and my reputation was laughed at. There's nothing that has happened to me that I can compare to what Jesus went through. Jesus I'm very sorry for my sins that contributed to Your sufferings.


12. Jesus dies on the Cross.



When someone that I love died, what did I feel? Loss and emptiness? I make sure to participate in Good Friday service to keep Jesus company.


13. Jesus is taken down from the Cross.



There's always a time that my suffering ends. The outcome may vary. It may not mean anything good and the consequences will last forever. There's a tiny bit of relief though. There's a hope rising too.


14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.



Respect is paid at a funeral. Do I respect people always? Even if they don't share my points of view and ideas. After someone passes away there are tears and serious silence once they are buried.


This was a sad event yet true and needed for a proper Lenten experience. Don't miss it!



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