THE WAY

OF THE CROSS

 

OPENING PRAYER

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

May our contemplation of these

sacred Stations dispose us

to the graces poured forth

on the world from the Cross.

We cannot rely

on our own strength,

for we do not know

how to pray as we ought.

Therefore, bless us now

that we might be open to receive.

Bless our minds 

that we might meditate

on these timeless mysteries.

Bless our ears

that we might hear your voice.

Bless our lips 

that we might speak your praise.

Bless our hearts

that we might know your love.

Give us, O Lord, 

an ever-watchful heart

which nothing can ever lure 

away from you;

a noble heart,

which no unworthy affection

can draw downwards;

an upright heart,

which no sin can warp;

an unconquerable heart,

which no tribulation can crush;

a free heart,

which no perverted affection 

can claim for its own.

Bestow on us, O Lord,

understanding to know you,

diligence to seek you,

and wisdom to find you,

a life that pleases you,

and a hope that may 

embrace you at the last.

May our contemplation 

of these sacred Stations

dispose us to the graces 

poured forth on the world

from the Cross.

May we grow to be obedient

without complaint,

without pretense, 

joyous without frivolity, 

and truthful without disguise.

Be with us, Jesus, 

our Lord and God, 

for with great humility,

we seek to make pilgrimage

in your footsteps.

Amen.

THE FIRST STATION

JESUS IS

CONDEMNED TO DEATH

We adore you, O Christ,

and we bless you

Because by your holy cross

you have redeemed the world.

 

FROM SACRED SCRIPTURE

Gospel of Matthew 27:22-23, 26

Pilate said to them, 

“Then what shall I do

with Jesus who is called Christ?”

They all said,

“Let him be crucified!” 

And he said,

“Why, what evil has he done?”

But they shouted all the more,

“Let him be crucified!”

Then, he released Barabbas, 

and having scourged Jesus, 

delivered him to be crucified.

Let us contemplate Jesus

standing beside Pilate. 

As his eyes behold

the frenetic crowds

that have filled the praetorium,

he can also see the remnants

of palm branches that still

line the streets from his entrance

into Jerusalem a mere five days earlier.

Let us consider Jesus silently

reciting the following words

of Psalm 57 as he stands

atop the steps

of the praetorium

and hears the chants of:

"Crucify him! Crucify him!"

PSALM

My heart is steadfast, O God,

my heart is steadfast!

Be merciful to me, O God,

be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings

I will take refuge,

till the storms

of destruction pass by.

I cry to God Most High,

to God who fulfills

his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven

and save me,

he will put shame to those

who trample upon me.

God will send forth his mercy

and his faithfulness.

-Psalm 57:7, 1-3

 

HYMN

Is there one who would not weep,

whelmed in miseries so deep

Christ's dear Mother to behold?