At the beginning of each station say: We adore you o Christ and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
After each meditation say the Holy Souls Prayer given to St Gertrude: Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious blood of your divine son Jesus, in union with all the masses said throughout the world today, for the holy souls in Purgatory, sinners everywhere, sinners within the Universal Church, within my own home, and my own family. Amen.
1st Station – Jesus is condemned to death
Meditation – In the Garden of Olives, we see Jesus going through His great agony. Like any of us when faced with crosses, His human nature did not want to go through with the passion. It caused Him so much pain and worrying that He sweated blood. However, he submitted to the Will of His Father in Heaven. His great act of obedience, and submissive love was also one of great Trust in His Father’s Will. He knew He was to suffer but He trusted in His Father’s goodness – that it was for a greater good.
Immediately His suffering began……..His apostles ran away, and Judas betrayed him with a kiss. Only one apostle was going to follow Him to calvary. The soldiers savagely took our Lord, and beat him. They took him to the Chief Priest’s House where they lied and accused him, they spat at him, and beat him savagely. He then saw Peter, the one who earlier that night, had said he would die for him, the one who was to be the first Pope, and now he denied Jesus three times. He was savagely scourged at the pillar until he had lost so much blood he could have died there and then. All the while he remained obediently quiet, offering everything to the Father for our sins. Then they dressed him up like a king in mockery, they danced around Him, slapping Him and spitting at Him. They forced a crown of thorns into His head. The crowd, who only a week before had worshipped Him on Palm Sunday, now shouted “crucify him” at the innocent lamb, their creator.
2nd Station – Jesus is given his cross
Meditation – Here we see our Lord given his heavy cross. He is not strong enough to carry a piece of paper, but out of holy obedience he tries. He says YES. He embraces the cross with love. He trusts in the Father. His heart longs to free us. We ask ourselves here are we willing to embrace our crosses. All we need do is to try with a willing heart, and God will give us the necessary graces to do the rest. Can we trust God as the God of love and mercy like Jesus?
3rd Station – Jesus falls for the first time
Meditation – Our dear Lord falls for the first time. The weight of the cross is so heavy it pushes him to the ground. He gets back up again however to keep trying, to keep persevering. We too must just keep trying for love of Jesus. Even the smallest little offerings are great when done for love of Jesus. We are sinners, and we will fall but we have to try and keep going. Go to confession regularly and examine our conscience at night. Dear Lord, please give us the grace to persevere with love, to keep going when the cross gets heavy.
4th Station – Jesus meets his mother
Meditation – Here we see the Immaculate Heart of Mary meet the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Can you imagine the scene? Mary as co-redeemer giving herself completely and accepting the will of the Father, carrying her own HEAVY cross up Calvary after her son. Her pain is so great, a sword is piercing her heart watching her son suffer so much, surrounded by so much evil and hatred, yet she accepts this and continues to trust in God’s goodness. 33 years later and she continues to say YES to God. Do we lose trust in God at the slightest wobble? Can we trust like Mary when the cross is heavy and human instincts tell us to avoid the cross? Mary, please help me to trust in God’s goodness when I am carrying my own cross. Help me to learn from your obedience to God’s Holy Will, and to be meek and humble as you are.
5th Station – Simon helps Jesus carry his cross
Meditation – Simon didn’t want to help Jesus when he was asked to help carry his cross. Perhaps he was afraid what people would think? Would people think he was a criminal? He possibly had other plans for the day. Am I afraid to follow Jesus as I am worried about what people think? Am I too caught up in my own fears, worries, etc., to think of helping others? Dear Lord, open my ears and eyes to the crying needs of those around me such as my neighbour, the poor suffering souls in purgatory with nobody to help them, and the poor dying souls each and every hour.
6th Station – Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Meditation – St Veronica had much to risk. The crowd were shouting at Jesus, and by helping a condemned man what would they think of her? What would her neighbours say? Would the soldiers throw her in prison? Veronica did not care, she was too full of love, and she wanted to help ease the Lord’s pain. Are we also too afraid of the consequences to help the Lord? Veronica wiped his face, it could maybe have been seen as a little gesture, but it was made great in the eyes of the Lord by her love. Can I do a little act of love for the Lord each day?
7th Station – Our Lord Jesus falls the 2nd time
Meditation – Our Lord Jesus falls again. The just man/woman it is said falls at least 7 times a day. We are weak and sinners, but we must TRY to keep getting back up like the Lord. Think of Our Blessed Lord on the ground in agony. What had he to get back up for? Nobody was going to think him great and brave, and there was no cash prize or earthly reward…..just more and more suffering lay ahead. It was LOVE that made him get back up again. Love for you. If he had an ounce of self love he would have stopped the passion there and then, but He gave Himself completely to His Father’s Will, and our sins were so great it was necessary for him to continue. He embraced his cross once more and carried on.
8th Station – Jesus meets the holy women of Jerusalem
Meditation – The Holy women weep when they see our Lord suffer so much. He somehow musters up enough strength to go over to them and tells them not to weep for him, but for themselves and their children. Our Lord is thinking of others. He is telling us here of the great need for prayers and sacrifices, as he sees the troubled road ahead for people. Is there anyone in our family that we should weep for? He sees today’s world and the amount of suffering each person and family goes through. He gives us the solution. We should also ask ourselves here, when we are going through a difficult day, do we consider others as he does in this station, or is the focus just turned in on ourselves.
9th Station – Jesus falls for the third time
Meditation – Our Lord falls for the third and final time. Imagine him hit the ground again and the cross landing on top of him. We can picture the soldiers getting angry now as he is wasting their time, so they whip him harder and get aggressive with him. He somehow stumbles to His feet, and gets up to continue suffering…..love again drives him forward. Only love can change this world. Only love can touch our hearts. It was love that made Jesus continue. We think here of the members of our family’s and friends who have fallen and are away from God. We ask you dear Lord to bring them back to you.
10th Station – Jesus is stripped of his garments
Meditation – Our Lord is stripped naked of his garments. Can you imagine the clothes been ripped off him after being stuck to his blood stained body. This must be one of the most humiliating things a person can go through – to be stripped of their dignity and stand their helpless and naked in front of other people. They laugh at him…..and the irony is that He is their creator…..He gave them life…….yet He permits this to show us the way to salvation. He shows us that when people mock us we can offer this up, and turn it into something powerful and good. He loves us so much that he allows this to happen to him. He wants to show us His love and that He is the one who triumphs, and that what is important is to run the race and join Him in Eternal Paradise.
11th Station – Jesus is nailed to the cross
Meditation – Our Lord Jesus is now nailed to the cross. They grab him and throw him on the cross, and proceed to put nails through his hands and feet. Can you imagine the agony? He shouts out “Forgive them father. They know not what they do”. What would you shout if a nail was being hammered through your feet? How forgiving are we of those who offend us in minor ways? Perhaps I am angry with someone today. Do we ever try and put ourselves in the other person’s shoes? Do we ever try and understand the other person? Maybe their act is really a cry for help, a cry for love. Our Lord here shows us that we must forgive, and love all those who in any way offend us, because they really do not know what they do. We are all weak.
12th Station – Jesus dies on the cross
Meditation – Jesus came down to this earth to die for us, and now he hangs from the cross for 3 hours in the most intense pain possible. He is thirsting for souls. He is thirsting for your faith, your response to His love. They continue to mock him and make fun of the innocent lamb, their creator. He slowly suffocates in the immense mid day heat. How can he go through this pain for me when I hardly ever think of him, or show him any love?
When he dies blood and water gush forth from his heart. Blood representing the new life, the sacraments that come through the church, which give us LIFE and continue His work of salvation. They give us the graces needed to get through this life, and strength in the fight against evil. The water represents the sacraments of confession and baptism, which clean and wash away our sins. God is so merciful that the greatest sin disappears like a piece of straw into a great furnace, when we approach the Lord with a contrite heart.
13th Station – Jesus is laid in his Mother’s Arms
Meditation – Jesus is now dead but his Mother’s pain continues. Can you just imagine Mary seeing her beloved son being taken down from the cross, and the nails being taken out, the crown being wrenched from His head? Mary then holds her son in her arms, and cleans him lovingly. Think of Michaelanglo’s Pieta. Mary, hold us too in your arms and protect us and our families. Help us to follow your example more dearly and to learn from you.
14th Station – Jesus is laid in the tomb
Meditation – Our Lord is now laid to rest in the tomb. Can we sense Mary’s pain? We think of the resurrection which is coming now and the great light and glory which we can almost see beginning to light up the tomb, but the pain at that time was very real. How Jesus had to suffer though to reach his glory. We too must remember that we must take the narrow road of the cross in life to also reach the light. No cross, no crown. No Good Friday, No Easter Sunday, but Easter Sunday always comes and when embraced the cross become lighter and there can be joy in the cross. Dear Lord, please help us to remember this when the times are tough. Our focus should not be on the temporary difficulties or pleasures of this life, which always disappear, but the eternal reward which awaits good and faithful servants. Help us to Hope in You Lord.