“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more.”

One of my fondest memories growing up occurred every Friday during the season of Lent – the Stations of the Cross.  I loved doing this as a child but grew away from the practice as I started working and didn’t have the time to do this anymore.  I guess one of the “benefits” of the corona virus was that it afforded me the opportunity to help with the stations of the cross yesterday afternoon.  I got the idea this morning to spend the next 14 days before Easter Sunday contemplating these stations – one station per day.  Please take the time to read these and spend some time thinking about the great sacrifice our Lord did for us on that Good Friday so many years ago.

The stations I will use here are from the “Method of St. Francis of Assisi”.

An opening prayer:

Most merciful Lord, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit I bow down before thy divine Majesty.  I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and Master.  I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things.  I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, my only and supreme God.  I firmly resolve to amend my life; and although I am unworthy to obtain mercy, yet looking upon Thy holy Cross I am filled with peace and consolation.  I will, therefore, meditate on Thy sufferings, and visit the Stations in company with Thy sorrowful Mother and my holy Guardian Angel, to promote Thy honor and to save my soul.

O Loving Jesus, inflame my cold heart with Thy love, that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible., and that I may live and die in union with Thee.  Amen.

The First Station – Jesus is Condemned to Death.

V.  We adore, Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.

R.  Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, the most innocent of beings, is condemned to death, yes, the shameful death of the cross.  In order to remain a friend of Caesar, Pilate delivers Jesus into the hands of His enemies.  O fearful crime, to condemn Innocence to death and to displease God in order to please men.

O innocent Jesus, I have sinned and I am guilty of eternal death; but that I may live, Thous dost gladly accept the unjust sentence of death.  For whom then shall I henceforth live if not for Thee, my Lord?  If I desire to please men, I can not be Thy servant.  Let me, therefore, rather displease the whole world than not please Thee, O Jesus!

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

V.  Lord Jesus, crucified.

R. Have mercy on us.  (the following is sung to At the Cross Her station keeping):                  Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword has passed.

Do something great for our Lord today – spend some time praying about His condemnation to death.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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