World Youth Day was a colossal event worldwide! I have been blessed watching, reading, and hearing the coverage but the procession on Copacabana Beach is God Speaking to us! For me it was a taste of Heaven on Earth! This is what John saw when he wrote Revelation, the angelic choir! God’s Son was adored and glorified by one million Christians – now that’s moving!
Hearing the spiritual wisdom and guidance given to us by the people’s Pope, Pope Francis, refreshes my spirit. The following quote was heard by these one million Christians. This quote is from the National Catholic Register, written by Jeanette De Melo who was in attendance.
“Jesus, with His Cross, walks with us and takes upon Himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful.” Pope Francis, July 2013
When millions of people turn out to pray the Way of the Cross, this is and was intravenous spiritual medicine! This prayer is not a five minute, get-it-over-and-done-with devotional. In spirit I was there but in so many ways, I wanted to be physically present just to partake of the spiritual meat.
Each of the Fourteen Stations Pope Francis traveled, depicts one agonizing pivotal point in Christ’s horrific journey to the Crucifixion. The Way of the Cross According to the method of St. Alphonsus Liguori: *many book publishers sell this
- Jesus is condemned to Death
- Jesus is made to carry His Cross
- Jesus falls the First Time
- Jesus meets His Sorrowful Mother
- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His Cross
- Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the Second Time
- The Women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus
- Jesus falls the Third Time
- Jesus is stripped of His garments
- Jesus is nailed to the Cross
- Jesus is raised upon the Cross and Dies
- Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the Arms of His Mother
- Jesus is laid in the Sepulcher
The Stations of the Cross historically began when Christians flocked to the Holy Sepulcher Church, erected over Christ’s tomb, in the Fourth century. As time went on, the faithful marked the road to Calvary in devotion to their Savior. During the Fourteenth century, “stations” were built for journeying pilgrims and these marked the path where our Lord struggled, enduring and carrying the agonizing weight of sin – past, present, and future.
As history reveals, when the Turkish occupied the Holy Land, the holy sites or stations were deathtraps to the faithful. Churches brought smaller versions inside their buildings. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the Way of the Cross and the prayers were published around 1761. Catholic churches have these stations in miniature form inside, and some churches even have stations outside their buildings where pilgrims can still come and encounter the Passion of Christ.
During Lenten Season, The Way of the Cross is prayed, bringing us into a deeper relationship with the suffering of our Lord. This was the price that was paid for each and every transgression notched on our souls. We didn’t deserve the blood sacrifice of our Lord, but Love said we did. By His Grace, we are saved.
As Christians our light usually shines but with the struggles of life, it can dim or burn out. Sometimes we need to go back and refuel our faith. Walking the steps of Jesus by using the Stations of the Cross can bring us back from the dead. Both the Way of the Cross and The Stations of the Cross have been inspirational bringing me into a closer union with my Lord. I would suggest you take up your cross, and follow our Savior’s Footsteps and you will hear His loving voice speak directly to your heart. You and I can go to the Cross one step at a time, like a million other people have, in the privacy of our own home! Take that step today…and the Lord will be standing beside you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, humble my heart, so I can see You more clearly. Give me ears to hear Your voice and a tongue to speak Your name.