Servant-Son Stations of the Cross
The Stations of The Cross
JESUS is CONDEMNED
The case against Jesus
What king is this that comes upon the unsteady colt of an ass? Is this not the carpenterís son who we have seen touching lepers. His followers are sinners and they are the poor. His royal court of twelve are rough, common men. There is even one among them that is but a boy, the one He loves so much.
By what pretense does He claim to be the Son of God? We say this heresy condemns Him. Does the Son of God cure the sick and the lame on the Sabbath? Did we not see Him in the temple accusing the holy priests. Did He not encourage Gentile and Samaritan. Good Jews avoid such things.
Away with Him. Crucify Him. He is no king of ours.
"Behold the Man"
Dear Jesus, a few days ago you entered this city. All acclaimed and celebrated you. How quickly You have been forgotten; the praise of warm mouths has soured to rancor. Now they spew poison against you. Days ago you were robust, stalwart, upright. Now you stand before the crowd: weak, infirm, bent. How bloodied you are. How cruelly you have been beaten for your kind deeds. It was just the Sabbath past that your eyes gleamed in your radiant holy face and the city danced in expectant jubilation. How sadly we see you now; your holy face is beaten and bruised. Those sacred eyes are now down cast and their light is dulled by the wickedness of all who offend you. The voice of this ungodly crowd cries for your sacrifice. Their heart is dead while Your Sacred heart shudders in pain.
Obedient Son of The Father, though Your followers are not of this world, why do You not call them down to mete eternal justice now ? Does not but one of your followers have the might of nations? Does not the least of them wield the power of all the armies of the world? Why do you suffer mockery so patiently? Beneath bloody garments your lacerated body moans. Your brow, pierced with nettle, is crowned with jewels of holy blood. You look upon the crowd with the eyes of meek innocence and You cry most from the cruelty of merciless men.
There is no pity in them; they mouth no merciful words. "Were not ten cured? Did the blind see? Did the dead rise to walk?" Where are they now, all those who cried to your merciful heart for Godly favor? Jesus, even at this moment you are all Mercy. There is no kindness that does not issue from your hand. There is no mercy which does not stream from your broken heart. Teach us, Lord, to savor your Goodness. Teach us, Lord, to be merciful as you are merciful. "I find no fault in Him." From the seat echo words of innocence. He who finds no guilt in you, hands you over to the crowd who revile you to do as they have conspired.
How vile this crowd of humanity is. Long ago, they praised the virtue of your fatherís hands for their strength and skill. All that he fashioned from wood and timber was comforting and pleasing. Now they mock him. They cry out, "How fitting it is Your last moments are in the embrace of this cross."
They jeer; they taunt. They recall his memory exclaiming how just it is that you toil with this wood.
Some are made so bold to tweak away tufts of Your beard. All spit and curse you. Dear Lord Jesus, at this moment this cross is your only comfort. Upon its rough and splintered surface, You rest your smitten cheek. It alone caresses Your body without hatred. This crowd is dead. This tree beneath whose burden You so labor offends less than they. Oh, foolish people, you lose the kingdom.
The eyes of all ages and all kingdoms are upon You now. These too offend You as You bear this load. Were this not so, Your burden would be made light by the certain righteousness of all generations. No generation claims this deed. No people proclaims this goodness. All watch and offend quietly.
Lord, forgive us this prayer, but we need Your cross to save our souls.
The road where You go now is hard and jagged. Its stones offend your feet.
From it, dust rises up to sting your eyes and parch your mouth. How much more would You have walked a green and flowered meadow; how much more the song of birds upon Your ear did You long for. Your lot, dear Jesus, is the shout of hardened hearts which offends Your passage more harshly than the rock on which You must travel.
This entourage is from hell. They are criminals, executioners, soldiers. Whips crack and flail. Voices curse; voices taunt; voices cry. Lord of all creation, You are bound like a chattel animal. Hemp and chain adorn Your heavenly body. Oh, how Your obedient heavenly minions await even the least sign from Your Eternal Countenance. Weak, You offer no resistance as You are drawn harshly by those to whom You are tethered. So tired by Your ordeal, so bent from the burden of Your cross, You stumble then fall prostrate still upon the face of that comfortless road. The body of Your cross falls quiet across Your tortured shoulders. For the moment, low and flat, You rest as You pray to The Father. How sorrowful is this sight to the merciful of heart. Yet, this unholy crowd looks out over You and jeers down upon You. Not one falls by Your side to comfort You. Your body obeys the command of the snapping lash and gathering strength You rise to advance toward our Salvation.
Mother meets Son
Lonely and pained, You walk on amidst this throng of humanity. Few are they who console You. Only one can comfort You. Unsure and weak You stumble forward. Unsteady step traces unsteady step. Hunched forward beneath Your cross, You halt for You hear a silent hymn of love flowing from a motherís heart. What hope she brings. Did she not comfort You as a child? Did she not soothe every wound and banish every sadness? You saw the knowledge of future sufferings and she caressed You to herself. With her alone You formed a bond of eyes. With her alone You have formed a union of hearts.
How desperate You are for now Your mother must behold Your beaten face. How helpless You are for Your bloodied garments cry testimony to Your lacerated body. Bent beneath Your burden, You slowly turn to her and with swollen eyes You make a silent call from Your suffering heart. Noble woman, though no alarm escapes your sullen visage, He is Lord who beholds you, body and soul.
He sees all your motherís heart tries to hide. Bonded together, Your two inseparable hearts form an arc of love to sustain You. Pious woman, you alone know your son. You alone dare speak out and say
"Jesus, You are Lord."
SIMON of CYRENE
So weakened by loss of blood are you Dear Jesus Your Holy Steps become halting and few. The long road to Your Death is stained. At every step, Your passage is printed in dust and Holy blood. This road knows you always act from high place for You must labor hard to climb its heights. Impatient executioners lash furiously and curse You. You have no strength to move forward. There are few who bemoan Your mean lot. This murmuring crowd fears only the spectacle of Your death by crucifixion will be stolen from them.
Your burden is made light by the Cyrenean; but no mercy is intended. The captain of centurions knows the decree. You must be crucified. Dutifully this obedient soldier arrests the arm of one who flogs you and presses You onward to our salvation. These small acts become signs of hope in the eyes of those who love You. But Your mother remembers all You told her and hidden tears of blood shed from her heart like glistening jewels that crown Your suffering passion. Forward, forward, You follow Your cross.
A woman runs. She bursts forth from the throng to your foot, Jesus. She is one who does not hold you in contempt. She scorns the crowd. In days far gone by, her hands and heart sinned grievously against you. These now seek your face to comfort you. She caresses and holds your bloody head in her veil. Drawing away, she lifts high into the ages The Holy Icon of Your Tortured Countenance for all men of all places and all times to behold.
Lord, you welcome all truly penitent hearts. Your mercy is manifest even at this moment as you yourself suffer for all unholy deeds. In your unrelenting pain you reject none who seek to comfort and be comforted by you.
JESUS FALLS AGAIN
Lord, why must you fall again into this vile filth of the world? Are you not God? Are not Your heavens full of loving servants who would lay down their very souls upon this road for you to tread upon. Yet again, Your holy face comes low on the path of the world for all to mock you. Yet again, Your pure cheek is stung by sharp stones of desecration and hate.
"Behold God," they cry before You. Lord, how does any man continue to love a mob such as this?
A motherís need lulls away Your mothers mind to serene days long ago when she caressed you as a baby and kissed those tender cheeks in gentle reverence . She pines for those days of innocence and love when You rested Your scented brow upon her cheek to dispel away the ravelled cares of Our God made man. You look up into her eyes now, where her recollections of those eternal moments of comfort again give you solace. You look to her heart, where a bitter fire raging against her does not consume her.
From these things, You draw strength and love.
How strange -- You permit every indignity to advance our salvation. How mysterious -- our sin becomes Your instrument in Your Hand.
"WOMEN of JERUSALEM"
"Women of Jerusalem, weep not for me , but for yourselves and your children".
You see portents of happenings in the crags of bothered brows; and from the lines of furrowed faces You foretell all faithful of future sufferings. You are God Who we crucify. You bring forth mercy and prophesy from the wealth of Your treasure. These are Yours and Yours alone. As to prophecy, the world will suffer for its sin. As You have been made to suffer by the world for its sin, so too this world shall suffer.
As to mercy, Patient Loving God, You win expiation of sins of all and You promise eternal life in Thee.
We beg Thee! Prophesy again Lord! Does not the worth of Your sacrifice exceed in measure all the souls of creation. Who of the children then are saved Lord? Who among us dare squander this most precious gift of Your body and Blood You alone give.
JESUSí LAST FALL
Faithful Savior, Your weakness of body presses You downward. You fall for a last moment in the shadow of Your cross mere steps from the summit of Calvary. Your pause is a last respite for a weeping mother who stands amidst choirs of heavenly presence. In You, great unfathomable mysteries paint the weave of eternity. The Heavenly Father embraces You. The mist of the Holy Spirit soaks all creation with graces. Together in Trinity, You rise. Faithful Savior, Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, You exercise Your Holy Will and climb to the place of Our Salvation.
JESUS IS DISROBED
"And for His garments they cast lots."
You are disrobed. All can see the flesh of Your Body has been torn and tattered. These are not wounds they behold. Mankind sees in the bloody openings of Your Body mankindís sins of all times. In them are hate and lies, murder, calumny, cruelty, and lust. It is these that formed every strike against Your flesh. It is sin that delivered every blow against Your Loving Heart. Only she who is without sin is innocent of these deeds against You.
How injured You are to know Your Motherís heart moans quietly in grief.
The people of this nation are burdened by the accrual of their sins from the beginning. Were there no sin, no anger could have been presented against You. Were there no sin, there would be no unholy priests, no cowardly kings, no hateful people to condemn, to mock, to crucify You. You are God whom we kill. You join, in the present, the moments of the beginning and the moments of the end of time. Now, You offer freedom from the burden of sin to all peoples and all nations that call Your name in love. In these moments all eras know Your Infinite mercy . You repay hate with Divine Love.
ELEVENTH STATION *
Jesus is Crucified
"My motherís heart is weak from the pain inflicted by the sufferings of my Son. He cries no sounds to pierce the ears of man, yet the heavens tremble with the silent cries from His Heart. With every stripe made by His whipping, thunders ring out in the heavens. Every pounding of the nails brings bolts of raging light throughout the heavens. Every angel cries and beats their chest in pangs of sorrow. The communion of saints chants in hymns of lament. Our Father weeps in waves of anguish for the suffering of His Son. The Holy Spirit hovers near and pours out rays of mercy upon those who do not know what they do."
"Pray my little ones, pray much."
[Taken verbatim from a locution of the Blessed Virgin Mary given to spouse of ServantSon Monday 11 March 96 at 7:50 P.M.]
Jesus Dies on the Cross
"It is Finished."
Oh God! We have killed you! I look upon Your Broken Body and wonder what world we would be if we did not kill You Who is Life Unto Himself. As I look up to You, I dream of Your Words and Whispers as balm to soothe our aching hurts. Still, You are a Living Chrism. From the fire of Your breath issued righteous arrows to guard the world through the ages. Every pulsation from Your now quiet heart ripples endlessly in the sea of human spirit. We have darkened Your eyes from whence the light pounded back the frightful darkness. We have stilled Your heart and stifled Your breath. We have deadened Your eyes. We have entered the shades.
Oh Lord! Your ways are mysterious and hidden. By Your death You have sealed eternally the New Covenant . Your Cross gathers every sprout of man and binds us in sheaves of spirit to be borne to Your House.
Jesus Descends from the Cross
For a grieving mother, it seems an eternity since the steely lance slashed Your Heart. Faithful hurriedly dismount Your Body to conform with the law. The law that executed You now demands that You be hidden in the tomb without ceding a crying mother time to mourn her God Son. She clutches Your lifeless form; You do not move; Your Blood stains her hands. She whispers in Your ear; but You do not hear; Your thorny crown claws at her. She looks upon Your Innocent Face; You do not smile; Your Loosened Jaw falls open.
You ,Who are Life have permitted death to possess You.
Down into the nether world where the silent souls of forgotten dead are eaten by worms of evil, You descend. Souls cry; souls plead. Where demons screech and demons rattle, the dead grasp for Your Spirit. The fog of moldering spirits fills Your nostrils and new life blows forth in the wind of Your Breath. The Light of Your Eyes shows hidden crags filled with the ash of oppressive deeds. You walk by and the hem of Your garment sweeps these clean. From Your fist, arrows fly to slash the gall of death. All evil flees Your path for fear of You Who are Lord.
Hades trembles before Your Might. "Jesus, You are Lord."
JESUS IS LAID in the SEPULCHRE
Jesus, they lusted for blood who killed You, Innocent Lamb. Your Torn Body now lays still and lifeless in a dark and dampened cave. The love of a few washed and wrapped You, but dead You lay in the tombs of the living. You make neither murmur nor motion to spoil the silent stillness. You have clothed perfection in death.
Nearby, Romans guard. They believe only in the stealth of death. Who, save the faithful, see the fulmination of light spilling from the crevices of stone. Only those who believe sense Your seething life within. Who but those who love, feel Your throbbing Heart waiting to burst forth with gifts of everlasting life. A pounding tempo of expectation pulsates through the rock of ages. All who remember Your Living promise await the third day for eternal salvation.
Quiet, You lay in the echo-less cavern. You are an impenetrable enigma of death as You prepare to mystify life against the stealth of eternal destruction.