Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why The Stations of The Cross?

After the events of the Crucifixion and Resurrection were accomplished, pilgrims from throughout the ancient world started to stream into Jerusalem to walk the actual steps of our Lord to commemorate His love and passion for our salvation. There is a tradition that Mary daily walked His path to Calvary with tears as she contemplated the suffering of her son.

In the Middle Ages, Jerusalem was under the control of the Saracens and pilgrimages stopped. Therefore, churches began to erect their own replicas of the Stations of the Cross to commemorate His passion. This devotion spread throughout Europe and to this day most, if not all , Catholic Churches have the stations of the cross displayed in the sanctuary for the faithful to pray them. During Lent, many Churches pray the stations of the cross each Friday. I have come to love this beautiful spiritual practice and it has really helped me to appreciate all that Christ has suffered for me. There are 14 stations and each has a prayer and meditation. I have a copy of these that I read at home and keep on my Palm Pilot so I can pray the stations at other times throughout the year.

In addition to this Lenten practice, I never realized that the Catholic Church has always held every Friday(Not just Good Friday) as a day to remember his death and suffering on the Cross. Hence, I have developed the habit of either avoiding meat and/or spending more time in prayer on a Friday as a way of honoring Jesus and drawing closer to Him through small acts of self denial.

Do we pray the stations of the Cross to gain access to heaven or perform a work to make ourselves worthy of His passion and death? God forbid, we could never gain heaven without the redeeming passion of Christ! But why not remember this amazing event of salvation history more than once a year on Good Friday? Why not let the events of the passion seep into our soul and transform us on a regular basis. As a protestant, I gave thought to the passion particularly around Easter, but now as a Catholic I am daily brought to the passion of Christ in Mass and each Friday remember His death and each Sunday, His resurrection! (One more time, if you are new to this blog, Catholics don't believe Christ is recrucified in each Mass, but his sacrifice is re-presented as the early church practiced )

So why the stations?

"The purpose of the stations of the cross is to remind us of the effects of sin and the salvation won for us through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. As we meditate on the Stations, we are moved to renounce sin and to accept Jesus as our Savior. "

Here is the Second Station:

Jesus Carries His Heavy Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders thought of us, and for us offered to His Father the death that He was about to undergo.


My most beloved Jesus, I embrace all the tribulations You have destined for me until death. I beseech You, by the merits of the pain You did suffer in carrying Your Cross, to give me the necessary help to carry mine with perfect patience and resignation. I love You, Jesus my love; I repent of having offended You. Never permit me to separate myself from You again. Grant the I may love You always; and then do with me what You will.

Thank you Jesus for giving us the stations as a way to grow closer to you by walking with you through your passion and death.

Check out the stations here.

Check out Mystery of Suffering Blog for her Stations


Anonymous Nancy said...

I've been attending the Stations at my church every Friday during Lent, and I hope to continue the practice on my own during the rest of the year too.

I read that JPII prayed the Stations every Friday up to and including the last Friday of his life. If it was good enough for him, it's certainly good enough for us!

March 24, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

While our parish rotates through different versions of the Stations during Lent, my favourite is St. Alphonsus Liguori's Stations of the Cross.

March 25, 2007 8:21 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes Nancy, You are right, we can't be doing to bad to imitate JP2!
He went to confession weekly as well, which would be a goal for me.

March 25, 2007 9:04 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

St JimBob! longtime no hear. hope all is well with you and yours.
Our parish uses St. Alphosus's stations and I love them as well.
Unfortunately, our church was designed by an architect from the Bauhaus school of design and the stations literally are circles and lines in a modernistic collage. There is no way that you could even viusalize a human in them! So I love the pictures in the St Alphosus booklet we use.
If I was wealthy, I would offer to buy real stations for the Church, but would run the risk of offending the architect.
Remind me to tell you about our "crucifix" sometime. oy vay!

March 25, 2007 9:08 AM  

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