Worship

Daily Reading

Today's Reading Link to the USCCB Daily Reading (New American Bible). Down Below are links to the Daily Audio, Reflections from One Bread, One Body and Saint of the Day from www.AmericanCatholic.org

Daily Reading

One Bread, One Body (Reflections on the Daily Readings)

Daily Prayer - The Athenaeum of Ohio

Praying the Rosary

Praying the Rosary

The Mysteries traditionally adhere to certain days of the week.
Order Prayers of the Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary
  • Begin by making the Sign of the Cross.
  • I offer up this Rosary for __________;
    I do this with full confidence in God's wisdom and unconditional love, because:

  1. Holding the crucifix pray the Apostles’ Creed.
  2. On the first bead pray the Our Father.
  3. On the next three beads pray the Hail Mary.
    • For the gift of Faith from the Holy Spirit:
    • For the gift of Hope from Jesus Christ:
    • For the gift of Love from God the Father:
  4. On the last bead pray the Glory Be.
  5. Announce the first mystery and pray one Our Father
  6. Ten Hail Mary’s
  7. Glory Be
  8. The Fatima Prayer is optional.
  9. Pray the Second Mystery
  10. Pray the Third Mystery
  11. Pray the Fourth Mystery
  12. Pray the Fifth Mystery
  13. Pray the following:
    • Hail, Holy Queen
    • Closing Prayer
    • Finish by making the Sign of the Cross
  • Sign of the Cross

    In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


  • Apostles’ Creed

    I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


  • Our Father

    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


  • Hail Mary

    Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


  • Glory Be

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


  • Fatima Prayer

    O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.


  • Hail, Holy Queen

    Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

    O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

  • Closing Prayer

  • Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

    May the divine assistance remain always with you.

    May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Joyous Mysteries

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Pray the Our Father

On the next three beads pray the Hail Mary.
For the gift of Faith from the Holy Spirit
For the gift of Hope from Jesus Christ
For the gift of Love from God the Father

Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Text Mystery Meditation Bead
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Lk1:30-34 Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."Lk1:38
The Annunciation
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to hear You calling me. Help me to say "yes" to whatever it is You have gifted me for, because You have chosen me to be Your partner in ministry. Especially help me to say "yes" to following Your will in the situation I'm currently in, of __________.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’ And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." Lk 1:41-45
The Visitation
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to be a friend and encourager to all those around me. Help me to share in their joys, as Mary did with Elizabeth, and help me to give them Your Love, as Mary still does today, especially with _______.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Lk2:4-7
The Nativity
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to receive a new birth of Jesus in all the areas of my life that have not totally been given over to Him. Help me to identify those areas and turn them over to You. Right now, I especially ask Jesus to become present in my __________.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."Lk2:25-32
The Presentation
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to present Jesus to the people around me, not so much by talking about Him as by the way I live my life. Help me to purify my life so that I can be a better reflection of Jesus' goodness and caring love. Help me to more compassionately let Jesus shine through me, especially when I am around ___________.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"Lk 2:46-49

Finding Jesus in the Temple
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to seek out and find Jesus whenever my troubles get so distracting that I no longer see Him. Help me to know that He is always present with me, helping me, guiding me, and compassionately loving me, especially in the difficulties of __________.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer.

Pray the Hail Holy Queen and Closing Prayer.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Closing Prayer
Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

May the divine assistance remain always with you.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Sorrowful Mysteries

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Pray the Our Father

On the next three beads pray the Hail Mary.
For the gift of Faith from the Holy Spirit
For the gift of Hope from Jesus Christ
For the gift of Love from God the Father

Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Text Mystery Meditation Bead

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mt 26:41


The Agony in the Garden
St. Alphonsus said: "He saw Himself affronted by his own disciples. One of them betrays and sells Him for thirty pieces. Another denies Him many times, protesting publicly that he knows Him not; and thus attesting that he was ashamed to have known Him in the past. The other disciples, then, at seeing Him taken and bound, all fly and abandon Him."









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Pilate said ‘I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood...and having scourged Jesus delivered him to be crucified.’ Mt 27:24, 26


The Scourging at the Pillar
The Blessed Mother told St. Bridget: "Then led to the pillar, My Son stripped Himself, and He Himself stretched His hands to the pillar, which His enemies pitilessly bound. They scourged His Body pure from all spot or stain... His whole Body lacerated with scourges tipped with sharp points turned back, not pulling out, but ploughing up... His Body bruised and beaten to the very ribs so that the ribs could be seen... His very flesh was furrowed with the thongs. My Son stood thus, all bloody, all torn, so that no soundness could be found on him nor any spot to scourge."
For all those times I have hurt others and in so doing have scourged You, my Lord Jesus, I pray...










Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. Mt 27:28-29

The Crowning with Thorns
For all those times I have let worldly wisdom, hatred, prejudice, materialism and greed, selfishness and carnal desires pierce my thoughts, to You my Lord Jesus, I pray...









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull. Jn 19:17


The Carrying of the Cross
St. Alphonsus said: "So drained of Blood is He and wearied out with His torments ... He can scarcely stand. Behold Him, all torn with wounds.... Look at Him as He goes along, with Body bent double, with knees all of a tremble, dripping with Blood; and so painful is it to Him to walk, that at every step He seems ready to die.
For all those times I have sinned and added to the weight of Your cross, O My Jesus, I pray...










Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jn 19:25

The Crucifixion
St. Augustine said: "Among all the different kinds of death, there was none worse."
For the power of love You had for me, which kept You on the cross, that I should be healed by that love; for the passionate love You had for me, in which You died so that I might receive eternal life, I pray with inadequate gratefulness...










Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer.

Pray the Hail Holy Queen and Closing Prayer.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Closing Prayer
Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

May the divine assistance remain always with you.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Glorious Mysteries

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Pray the Our Father

On the next three beads pray the Hail Mary.
For the gift of Faith from the Holy Spirit
For the gift of Hope from Jesus Christ
For the gift of Love from God the Father

Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Text Mystery Meditation Bead

Entering the tomb, they saw a young man and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here.’ Mk 16:5-6
The Resurrection
As it says in 1 Cor. 15:20-27, "Christ has been raised from the dead.... For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be given life." Pray the "Our Father" slowly, listening to and meaning each word. Give special emphasis to "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We admit that because of our sinfulness, we inherit death from Adam and we need God's forgiveness. But we enter into Christ's resurrection and receive eternal life as we forgive others, for it is in giving that we receive. Did Mary forgive those who tortured and killed her Son? She held no grudges as she wept at the foot of the cross and then as she held the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms. Her soul proclaimed the resurrection glory of God as she made the decision to forgive.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. Mk 16:19


The Ascension
As it says in Rev. 12:1-10, "She gave birth to a son.... Her child was snatched up to God and His throne.... Now have salvation and power come ... and the authority of Christ the Anointed One." Even though Mary was the mother of Jesus and he respected her authority as a parent, she freely gave herself over to His authority from the moment she said "yes, let it be done to me as the Father wills" and Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy spirit. How fully have we let Jesus be in authority over us? Let us ask the Blessed Mother to help us put aside our own will when it conflicts with His.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

There appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. Acts 2:3


The Descent of the Holy Spirit
As it says in Luke 1:39-56, "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out ... 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. How does it happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me?'" It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to become aware of Mary's presence in our lives. She cares about us as much as our own mothers have and even more, because she was and is full of grace and full of love. She knows each of us by name. She is glad to be asked to pray for us. She wants to help. She is constantly working on our behalf behind the scenes of our everyday trials. To know this more clearly, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal her to us.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

My beloved speaks...to me: ‘Arise, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away for behold the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.’ Song 2:10-11

The Assumption
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet." Because Mary was full of grace, she overcame all temptations to sin. When she reached the end of her earthly life, her full level of holiness enabled her to immediately receive her glorified body, i.e., the restored unaffected-by-sin body like we shall all receive at the Second Coming of Christ. Because Mary did not succumb to death by sinning, her flesh never lost its eternal life, and thus she was "assumed" or transferred bodily to heaven. May her example of holiness assist us in our journey toward heaven. Let us ask her to share with us the grace that helped her to resist sin.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Rev 12:1

The Crowning of Mary
"The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold." As our holy queen, Mary cares for us and intercedes for us to the King. She knows the King's desires intimately, so when we need help in discerning our Father's plan, we can ask her to reveal it to us. When we stray from the Kingdom, she points the way home. We would do well to acknowledge her queenship and her motherly authority over us, obediently trusting her the way a child trusts its Mama.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer.

Pray the Hail Holy Queen and Closing Prayer.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Closing Prayer
Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

May the divine assistance remain always with you.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Luminous Mysteries

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Pray the Our Father

On the next three beads pray the Hail Mary.
For the gift of Faith from the Holy Spirit
For the gift of Hope from Jesus Christ
For the gift of Love from God the Father

Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

Text Mystery Meditation Bead

When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and behold, a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ Mt 3:16-17
The Baptism of the Lord
The Lord Jesus came to each of us in our baptisms. When you were baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon you, and the Father said, "This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased!" Thus, you became the light of Christ to shine in the world. You have been invested with the mission of this light!









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Jn 2:5



The Wedding Feast at Cana
We glow brighter with the light of Christ when we obey the instructions He gives to us. Even when the task doesn't make sense, if we "do whatever" He tells us, He reveals His glory in us and through us.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel. Mk 1:15
The Preaching of the Kingdom
Jesus has proclaimed the kingdom of God to you, and you have said "yes" to the Good News and "no" to sin. Every moment that you live, He is breathing into you the divine power of the Holy Spirit as He sends you forth into a world of sin, and every time you get hurt, He asks you to reveal His light by forgiving the sinners and doing good to them in His name.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

He was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. Mt 17:2
The Transfiguration
The uncreated of light of glory within Christ Jesus is also within you. It's revealed to the world every time you suffer for the sake of loving others and offer your pain to Jesus for their healing and redemption. By doing good when it's difficult, you get purified from your own sinfulness, and your light grows stronger. Thus so closely united to Jesus, you enter into the joy of His resurrection.









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Announce the next Mystery and Pray the Our Father.

[Jesus] took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ [Jesus] took a chalice, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. Mk 14:22-23

The Institution of the Eucharist
In loving all others unconditionally, the way Jesus has given you His love, you enlighten the world. As you humble yourself to serve others, as He serves you, His light spreads, and so the world becomes a better place. You have become Eucharist. With Jesus, you are the light of the world. You make a difference!









Pray the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer.

Pray the Hail Holy Queen and Closing Prayer.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

Closing Prayer
Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen

May the divine assistance remain always with you.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Sacraments

Ministries

Way of the Cross

The following prayers were excerpted from the text written by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005. Unable to attend the service due to his failing health, John Paul II watched via television from his private chapel and sent a message to participants: “I also offer my sufferings so that God’s plan may be completed and his Word spread among the peoples. I, in turn, am close to all who are tried by suffering at this time. I pray for each one of them.”

GOOD FRIDAY 2005

MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS

BY CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER

First Station - Jesus is condemned to death


FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:22-23,26

Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

MEDITATION

The Judge of the world, who will come again to judge us all, stands there, dishonoured and defenceless before the earthly judge. Pilate is not utterly evil. He knows that the condemned man is innocent, and he looks for a way to free him. But his heart is divided. And in the end he lets his own position, his own self-interest, prevail over what is right. Nor are the men who are shouting and demanding the death of Jesus utterly evil. Many of them, on the day of Pentecost, will feel “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37), when Peter will say to them: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God... you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law” (Acts 2:22ff.). But at that moment they are caught up in the crowd. They are shouting because everyone else is shouting, and they are shouting the same thing that everyone else is shouting. And in this way, justice is trampled underfoot by weakness, cowardice and fear of the diktat of the ruling mindset. The quiet voice of conscience is drowned out by the cries of the crowd. Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.

PRAYER

Lord, you were condemned to death because fear of what other people may think suppressed the voice of conscience. So too, throughout history, the innocent have always been maltreated, condemned and killed. How many times have we ourselves preferred success to the truth, our reputation to justice? Strengthen the quiet voice of our conscience, your own voice, in our lives. Look at me as you looked at Peter after his denial. Let your gaze penetrate our hearts and indicate the direction our lives must take. On the day of Pentecost you stirred the hearts of those who, on Good Friday, clamoured for your death, and you brought them to conversion. In this way you gave hope to all. Grant us, ever anew, the grace of conversion.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Stabat mater dolorosa,
iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Second Station - Jesus takes up his Cross


SECOND STATION

Jesus takes up his Cross

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew. 27:27-31

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

MEDITATION

Jesus, condemned as an imposter king, is mocked, but this very mockery lays bare a painful truth. How often are the symbols of power, borne by the great ones of this world, an affront to truth, to justice and to the dignity of man! How many times are their pomps and their lofty words nothing but grandiose lies, a parody of their solemn obligation to serve the common good! It is because Jesus is mocked and wears the crown of suffering that he appears as the true King. His sceptre is justice (cf. Ps 45:7). The price of justice in this world is suffering: Jesus, the true King, does not reign through violence, but through a love which suffers for us and with us. He takes up the Cross, our cross, the burden of being human, the burden of the world. And so he goes before us and points out to us the way which leads to true life.

PRAYER

Lord, you willingly subjected yourself to mockery and scorn. Help us not to ally ourselves with those who look down on the weak and suffering. Help us to acknowledge your face in the lowly and the outcast. May we never lose heart when faced with the contempt of this world, which ridicules our obedience to your will. You carried your own Cross and you ask us to follow you on this path (cf. Mt 10:38). Help us to take up the Cross, and not to shun it. May we never complain or become discouraged by life’s trials. Help us to follow the path of love and, in submitting to its demands, to find true joy.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

Third Station - Jesus falls for the first time


THIRD STATION

Jesus falls for the first time

THIRD STATION
Jesus falls for the first time

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:4-6

Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

MEDITATION

Man has fallen, and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself, no longer the image of God, but a mockery of the Creator. Is not the man who, on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers who stripped him and left him half-dead and bleeding beside the road, the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus’ fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus, exhausted from his scourging. There is a more profound meaning in this fall, as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: “though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men... He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8). In Jesus’s fall beneath the weight of the Cross, the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement, which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. The nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves, the arrogance which makes us think that we do not need his eternal love, but can be the masters of our own lives. In this rebellion against truth, in this attempt to be our own god, creator and judge, we fall headlong and plunge into self-destruction. The humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride; by his abasement he lifts us up. Let us allow him to lift us up. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency, our false illusions of independence, and learn from him, the One who humbled himself, to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. The weight of our sin, the weight of our pride, brought you down. But your fall is not a tragedy, or mere human weakness. You came to us when, in our pride, we were laid low. The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise, to be bought and sold, or stored to provide parts for experimentation. In doing this, we hope to conquer death by our own efforts, yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity. Lord help us; we have fallen. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and, by learning from your humility, to rise again.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedica
mater Unigeniti!

Fourth Station - Jesus meets his Mother


FOURTH STATION

Jesus meets his Mother

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Luke. 2:34-35,51

Simon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed”. And his mother kept all these things in her heart.

MEDITATION

On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, we also find Mary, his Mother. During his public life she had to step aside, to make place for the birth of Jesus’ new family, the family of his disciples. She also had to hear the words: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?... Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is brother, and sister and mother” (Mt 12:48-50). Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus, not only physically, but also in her heart. Even before she conceived him bodily, through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. It was said to Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:31ff.). And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35). She would then recall the words of the prophets, words like these: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is 54:7). Now it all takes place. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel, spoken to her in the beginning: “Do not be afraid, Mary” (Lk 1:30). The disciples fled, yet she did not flee. She stayed there, with a Mother’s courage, a Mother’s fidelity, a Mother’s goodness, and a faith which did not waver in the hour of darkness: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). “Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). Yes, in this moment Jesus knows: he will find faith. In this hour, this is his great consolation.

PRAYER

Holy Mary, Mother of the Lord, you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Just as you believed the angels incredible message – that you would become the Mother of the Most High, so too you believed at the hour of his greatest abasement. In this way, at the hour of the Cross, at the hour of the world’s darkest night, you became the Mother of all believers, the Mother of the Church. We beg you: teach us to believe, and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quæ mærebat et dolebat
pia mater, cum videbat
Nati pœnas incliti.

Fifth Station - The Cyrenian helps Jesus carry the Cross


FIFTH STATION

The Cyrenian helps Jesus carry the Cross

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew. 27:32; 16:24

As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

MEDITATION

Simon of Cyrene is on his way home, returning from work, when he comes upon the sad procession of those condemned – for him, perhaps, it was a common sight. The soldiers force this rugged man from the country to carry the Cross on his own shoulders. How annoying he must have thought it to be suddenly caught up in the fate of those condemned men! He does what he must do, but reluctantly. Significantly, the Evangelist Mark does not only name him, but also his children, who were evidently known as Christians and as members of that community (cf. Mk 15:21). From this chance encounter, faith was born. The Cyrenian, walking beside Jesus and sharing the burden of the Cross, came to see that it was a grace to be able to accompany him to his crucifixion and to help him. The mystery of Jesus, silent and suffering, touched his heart. Jesus, whose divine love alone can redeem all humanity, wants us to share his Cross so that we can complete what is still lacking in his suffering (cf. Col 1:24). Whenever we show kindness to the suffering, the persecuted and defenceless, and share in their sufferings, we help to carry that same Cross of Jesus. In this way we obtain salvation, and help contribute to the salvation of the world.

PRAYER

Lord, you opened the eyes and heart of Simon of Cyrene, and you gave him, by his share in your Cross, the grace of faith. Help us to aid our neighbours in need, even when this interferes with our own plans and desires. Help us to realize that it is a grace to be able to share the cross of others and, in this way, know that we are walking with you along the way. Help us to appreciate with joy that, when we share in your suffering and the sufferings of this world, we become servants of salvation and are able to help build up your Body, the Church.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Sixth Station - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus


SIXTH STATION

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:2-3

He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

From the Book of Psalms. 27:8-9

You have said, “Seek my face”. My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek”. Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation.

MEDITATION

“Your face, Lord, do I seek. Hide not your face from me” (Ps 27:8-9). Veronica – Bernice, in the Greek tradition – embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament, the yearning of all believers to see the face of God. On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, though, she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. She is the image of that good woman, who, amid turmoil and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. “Blessed are the pure in heart”, the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face. Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his human face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the face of God and his goodness, which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. Only with the heart can we see Jesus. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see. Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself.

PRAYER

Lord, grant us restless hearts, hearts which seek your face. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things. Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognize your presence in the world. When we are not able to accomplish great things, grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Impress your face on our hearts. May we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Pro peccatis suæ gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis
et flagellis subditum.

Seventh Station - Jesus falls for the second time


SEVENTH STATION

Jesus falls for the second time

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Book of Lamentations. 3:1-2,9,16

I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has blocked my way with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes.

MEDITATION

The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam – the state of fallen humanity – and the mystery of Jesus’ own sharing in our fall. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. In his First Letter, Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time, with all its excesses and perversions. But we can also think, in more recent times, of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies, and the banal existence of those who, no longer believing in anything, simply drift through life, have built a new and worse paganism, which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all, have ended up doing away with man. And so man lies fallen in the dust. The Lord bears this burden and falls, over and over again, in order to meet us. He gazes on us, he touches our hearts; he falls in order to raise us up.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, you have borne all our burdens and you continue to carry us. Our weight has made you fall. Lift us up, for by ourselves we cannot rise from the dust. Free us from the bonds of lust. In place of a heart of stone, give us a heart of flesh, a heart capable of seeing. Lay low the power of ideologies, so that all may see that they are a web of lies. Do not let the wall of materialism become unsurmountable. Make us aware of your presence. Keep us sober and vigilant, capable of resisting the forces of evil. Help us to recognise the spiritual and material needs of others, and to give them the help they need. Lift us up, so that we may lift others up. Give us hope at every moment of darkness, so that we may bring your hope to the world.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quis non posset contristari,
Christi matrem contemplari,
dolentem cum Filio?

Eighth Station - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem who weep for him


EIGHTH STATION

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem who weep for him

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Luke. 23:28-31

Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us’. For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

MEDITATION

Hearing Jesus reproach the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him ought to make us reflect. How should we understand his words? Are they not directed at a piety which is purely sentimental, one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith? It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgement. Can it be that, despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering, we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus, and quietly set aside the word of judgement? “How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?”, we say. “We are only human!” Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son, we see more clearly the seriousness of sin, and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome. Before the image of the suffering Lord, evil can no longer be trivialized. To us too, he says: “Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves... if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”.

PRAYER

Lord, to the weeping women you spoke of repentance and the Day of Judgement, when all of us will stand before your face: before you, the Judge of the world. You call us to leave behind the trivialization of evil, which salves our consciences and allows us to carry on as before. You show us the seriousness of our responsibility, the danger of our being found guilty and without excuse on the Day of Judgement. Grant that we may not simply walk at your side, with nothing to offer other than compassionate words. Convert us and give us new life. Grant that in the end we will not be dry wood, but living branches in you, the true vine, bearing fruit for eternal life (cf. Jn 15:1-10).

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.

Ninth Station - Jesus falls for the third time


NINTH STATION

Jesus falls for the third time

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Book of Lamentations. 3:27-32

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

MEDITATION

What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).

PRAYER

Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Eia mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Tenth Station - Jesus is stripped of his garments


TENTH STATION

Jesus is stripped of his garments

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew. 27:33-36

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there.

MEDITATION

Jesus is stripped of his garments. Clothing gives a man his social position; it gives him his place in society, it makes him someone. His public stripping means that Jesus is no longer anything at all, he is simply an outcast, despised by all alike. The moment of the stripping reminds us of the expulsion from Paradise: God’s splendour has fallen away from man, who now stands naked and exposed, unclad and ashamed. And so Jesus once more takes on the condition of fallen man. Stripped of his garments, he reminds us that we have all lost the “first garment” that is God’s splendour. At the foot of the Cross, the soldiers draw lots to divide his paltry possessions, his clothes. The Evangelists describe the scene with words drawn from Psalm 22:19; by doing so they tell us the same thing that Jesus would tell his disciples on the road to Emmaus: that everything takes place “according to the Scriptures”. Nothing is mere coincidence; everything that happens is contained in the Word of God and sustained by his divine plan. The Lord passes through all the stages and steps of man’s fall from grace, yet each of these steps, for all its bitterness, becomes a step towards our redemption: this is how he carries home the lost sheep. Let us not forget that John says that lots were drawn for Jesus’s tunic, “woven without seam from top to bottom” (Jn 19:23). We may consider this as a reference to the High Priest’s robe, which was “woven from a single thread”, without stitching (Fl. Josephus, a III, 161). For he, the Crucified One, is the true High Priest.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, you were stripped of your garments, exposed to shame, cast out of society. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam, and you healed it. You also take upon yourself the sufferings and the needs of the poor, the outcasts of our world. And in this very way you fulfil the words of the prophets. This is how you bring meaning into apparent meaninglessness. This is how you make us realize that your Father holds you, us, and the whole world in his hands. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence, and in all the situations in which we encounter him. Clothe us in the light of your grace.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum,
ut sibi complaceam.

Eleventh Station - Jesus is nailed to the Cross


ELEVENTH STATION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:37-42

And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right hand and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross”. So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him”.

MEDITATION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross. The shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the pain of the Crucifixion. His whole body is racked; the words of the Psalm have come to pass: “But I am a worm and no man, scorned by men, rejected by the people” (Ps 22:7). “As one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised... surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is 53:3f.). Let us halt before this image of pain, before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure, in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation, and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon. As we stand before the condemned Lord, who did not use his power to come down from the Cross, but endured its suffering to the end, another thought comes to mind. Ignatius of Antioch, a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord, praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were, so to speak, nailed with flesh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). Let us nail ourselves to him, resisting the temptation to stand apart, or to join others in mocking him.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, you let yourself be nailed to the Cross, accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering, the destruction of your body and your dignity. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast; you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. May we never flee from what we are called to do. Help us to remain faithful to you. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. Help us to accept your “binding” freedom, and, “bound” fast to you, to discover true freedom.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Sancta mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Twelfth Station - Jesus dies on the Cross


TWELFTH STATION

Jesus dies on the Cross

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to John 19:19-20

Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the Cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:45-50,54

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah”. And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him”. And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit”. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

MEDITATION

In Greek and Latin, the two international languages of the time, and in Hebrew, the language of the Chosen People, a sign stood above the Cross of Jesus, indicating who he was: the King of the Jews, the promised Son of David. Pilate, the unjust judge, became a prophet despite himself. The kingship of Jesus was proclaimed before all the world. Jesus himself had not accepted the title “Messiah”, because it would have suggested a mistaken, human idea of power and deliverance. Yet now the title can remain publicly displayed above the Crucified Christ. He is indeed the king of the world. Now he is truly “lifted up”. In sinking to the depths he rose to the heights. Now he has radically fulfilled the commandment of love, he has completed the offering of himself, and in this way he is now the revelation of the true God, the God who is love. Now we know who God is. Now we know what true kingship is. Jesus prays Psalm 22, which begins with the words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 22:2). He takes to himself the whole suffering people of Israel, all of suffering humanity, the drama of God’s darkness, and he makes God present in the very place where he seems definitively vanquished and absent. The Cross of Jesus is a cosmic event. The world is darkened, when the Son of God is given up to death. The earth trembles. And on the Cross, the Church of the Gentiles is born. The Roman centurion understands this, and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God. From the Cross he triumphs – ever anew.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, at the hour of your death the sun was darkened. Ever anew you are being nailed to the Cross. At this present hour of history we are living in God’s darkness. Through your great sufferings and the wickedness of men, the face of God, your face, seems obscured, unrecognizable. And yet, on the Cross, you have revealed yourself. Precisely by being the one who suffers and loves, you are exalted. From the Cross on high you have triumphed. Help us to recognize your face at this hour of darkness and tribulation. Help us to believe in you and to follow you in our hour of darkness and need. Show yourself once more to the world at this hour. Reveal to us your salvation.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifixo condolore,
donec ego vixero.

Thirteenth Station - Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother


THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:54-55

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.

MEDITATION

Jesus is dead. From his heart, pierced by the lance of the Roman soldier, flow blood and water: a mysterious image of the stream of the sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, by which the Church is constantly reborn from the opened heart of the Lord. Jesus’ legs are not broken, like those of the two men crucified with him. He is thus revealed as the true Paschal lamb, not one of whose bones must be broken (cf. Es 12:46). And now, at the end of his sufferings, it is clear that, for all the dismay which filled men’s hearts, for all the power of hatred and cowardice, he was never alone. There are faithful ones who remain with him. Under the Cross stand Mary, his Mother, the sister of his Mother, Mary, Mary Magdalen and the disciple whom he loved. A wealthy man, Joseph of Arimathea, appears on the scene: a rich man is able to pass through the eye of a needle, for God has given him the grace. He buries Jesus in his own empty tomb, in a garden. At Jesus’s burial, the cemetery becomes a garden, the garden from which Adam was cast out when he abandoned the fullness of life, his Creator. The garden tomb symbolizes that the dominion of death is about to end. A member of the Sanhedrin also comes along, Nicodemus, to whom Jesus had proclaimed the mystery of rebirth by water and the Spirit. Even in the Sanhedrin, which decreed his death, there is a believer, someone who knows and recognizes Jesus after his death. In this hour of immense grief, of darkness and despair, the light of hope is mysteriously present. The hidden God continues to be the God of life, ever near. Even in the night of death, the Lord continues to be our Lord and Saviour. The Church of Jesus Christ, his new family, begins to take shape.

PRAYER

Lord, you descended into the darkness of death. But your body is placed in good hands and wrapped in a white shroud (Mt 27:59). Faith has not completely died; the sun has not completely set. How often does it appear that you are asleep? How easy it is for us to step back and say to ourselves: “God is dead”. In the hour of darkness, help us to know that you are still there. Do not abandon us when we are tempted to lose heart. Help us not to leave you alone. Give us the fidelity to withstand moments of confusion and a love ready to embrace you in your utter helplessness, like your Mother, who once more holds you to her breast. Help us, the poor and rich, simple and learned, to look beyond all our fears and prejudices, and to offer you our abilities, our hearts and our time, and thus to prepare a garden for the Resurrection.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
morientem, desolatum,
cum emisit spiritum.

Fourteenth Station - Jesus is laid in the tomb


FOURTEENTH STATION

Jesus is laid in the tomb

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:59-61

Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre.

MEDITATION

Jesus, disgraced and mistreated, is honorably buried in a new tomb. Nicodemus brings a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight, which gives off a precious scent. In the Son’s self-offering, as at his anointing in Bethany, we see an “excess” which evokes God’s generous and superabundant love. God offers himself unstintingly. If God’s measure is superabundance, then we for our part should consider nothing too much for God. This is the teaching of Jesus himself, in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:20). But we should also remember the words of Saint Paul, who says that God “through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. We are the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor 2:14ff.). Amid the decay of ideologies, our faith needs once more to be the fragrance which returns us to the path of life. At the very moment of his burial, Jesus’ words are fulfilled: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). Jesus is the grain of wheat which dies. From that lifeless grain of wheat comes forth the great multiplication of bread which will endure until the end of the world. Jesus is the bread of life which can satisfy superabundantly the hunger of all humanity and provide its deepest nourishment. Through his Cross and Resurrection, the eternal Word of God became flesh and bread for us. The mystery of the Eucharist already shines forth in the burial of Jesus.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, in your burial you have taken on the death of the grain of wheat. You have become the lifeless grain of wheat which produces abundant fruit for every age and for all eternity. From the tomb shines forth in every generation the promise of the grain of wheat which gives rise to the true manna, the Bread of Life, in which you offer us your very self. The eternal Word, through his Incarnation and death, has become a Word which is close to us: you put yourself into our hands and into our hearts, so that your word can grow within us and bear fruit. Through the death of the grain of wheat you give us yourself, so that we too can dare to lose our life in order to find it, so that we too can trust the promise of the grain of wheat. Help us grow in love and veneration for your Eucharistic mystery – to make you, the Bread of heaven, the source of our life. Help us to become your “fragrance”, and to make known in this world the mysterious traces of your life. Like the grain of wheat which rises from the earth, putting forth its stalk and then its ear, you could not remain enclosed in the tomb: the tomb is empty because he – the Father – “did not abandon you to the nether world, nor let your flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:31; Ps 16:10 LXX). No, you did not see corruption. You have risen, and have made a place for our transfigured flesh in the very heart of God. Help us to rejoice in this hope and bring it joyfully to the world. Help us to become witnesses of your resurrection.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

BLESSING

V/. Dominus vobiscum.
R/. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V/. Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
R/. Ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

V/. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R/. Qui fecit cælum et terram.

V/. Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus,
Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.
R/. Amen.

Divine Office - Daily Prayers


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