Weekly Reflections for March 13, 2022
Reflections on the Stations of the Cross, Way of the Cross, Via Cruis, or Via Dolorosa
By Mac Hickey
These titles are used to signify a series of pictures or tableaux representing certain scenes in the Passion of Jesus, each corresponding to a particular incident, or the special form of devotion connected with such representations. There are fourteen stations prescribed by authority. The erection and use of the scenes became more widespread at the end of the seventeenth century. Now, almost every church has them.
The purpose of the stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Jesus’ sufferings and death. The pilgrimage goes from Pilate’s house and, passing from station to station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents, in turn, ending at Mount Calvary. The Way of the Cross constitutes a miniature pilgrimage to the holy places at Jerusalem.
Tradition asserts that the Blessed Virgin used to visit daily the scenes of Jesus’ Passion. Later, crowds of pilgrims from all countries came to visit the holy places.
It is to the cross placed over the pictures or tableaux that the indulgence is attached. There are no particular prayers ordered, but there should be a separate meditation on each scene. There is no devotion more endowed with indulgences than the Way of the Cross, and none which enables us more literally to obey Jesus’ command to take up our cross and follow Him.
The details in the scenes from Pilot’s house to Golgotha are sparse, the first three Gospels mention Simon carrying, behind Jesus, His cross, and only Luke tells of the wailing women of Jerusalem. Tradition must have supplied the falling off three times, the meeting of Jesus’ mother and Veronica. The crucifixion scene has enough details to make you ponder and meditate your own presence and reaction to these events. Thank you LORD Jesus for dying for all of us; I’m sorry for placing You on that cross.
Jesus spent three hours on that cross. Why can’t we spend one hour with Him on three different occasions other than Saturday/Sunday mass. How about at the Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7 PM?
Catholic Encyclopedia, Catholic Answer, and New Advent are the sources nearly virtually copied