Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stations of the Cross - Intro

Stations of the Cross Introduction
Visit almost any Catholic church and you will find them somewhere. Typically around the perimeter of the main sanctuary. Fourteen plaques, small statues or paintings depicting the final hours of the life of Christ, known as “The Stations of the Cross.” To the uninitiated they just seem like random religious decorations, however to those who have experienced the power of walking through them in order (often called “making the Stations”) they can be a dynamic spiritual tool to deepen our appreciation of the sufferings of Christ. As a Protestant novice my first encounter with the Stations left me somewhat conflicted. I sensed the impact of walking systematically through the events of the final hours of Christ’s life on earth. But I was put off by the fact that several of the Stations were focused on non-biblical aspects of the story. I had never heard of Veronica (Station 6) and the legend of her wiping the face of Jesus. Nor did I ever read in the Bible that Jesus fell three times under the weight of the cross. I felt that something more true to scripture would have served me much better. So I was delighted to learn that someone else wanted to create Stations that were more Biblically based on the events of the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth. Back in 1991 Pope John Paul II instituted a new series of fourteen Stations of Cross, each of which was based on Scripture alone. This is the pattern I enjoy following most often.
Since few churches use the New Stations I have begun making the Stations by reading about the significant moments of Christ’s last few days and then praying about them. I can do this anywhere. So for the next two weeks or so I am going to post my way through the New Stations of the Cross. You are welcome to join me on this walk toward Calvary.

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