Via Crucis: Meditations on the Passion

The stations of the cross are an ancient devotion, reaching back to the earliest days of the Church when pilgrims would go to Jerusalem to visit the holy places. Small local versions were eventually constructed so that anyone contemplate the mysteries, even if you couldn't get to Jerusalem. There is a physicality to this devotion, the current edition of the Book of Indulgences (yes, such a thing still exists) notes that you don't get an indulgence for praying the stations unless you move from one to the next (exceptions made for infirmity or crowds!). God embodied suffered, so we similarly meditate on the mystery of the Passion with our bodies.

This year the Catholic Standard and Times is doing a meditation on the Stations for the Lent issue (March 2012), a collaboration between photographer, editors and writers. Fourteen stations, from fourteen different churches in the archdiocese, arranged as a pilgrimage across two full pages, with a short reflection/point of contemplation for each station.

Follow along on the blog:

I.  Jesus is condemned to death:  What is truth?
II.  Jesus takes up his cross:  What else is there to cling to?
III. Jesus falls for the first time:  The Narrow Way
IV.  Jesus meets his mother:  A Second Annunciation
V.  Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus:  What of the crosses that are not ours?
VI.  Veronica wipes the face of Jesus:  Become what you seek.
VII.  Jesus falls for the second time:  Will I walk past unseeing?
VIII.  Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem:  That our tears might soak the ground.
IX.  Jesus falls the third time:  The taste of dust.
X.  Jesus is stripped of his garments: There is nothing left to us.
XI.  Jesus is crucified:  Terrible graces
XII. Jesus dies:  The Word is silent
XIII.  Jesus is taken from the cross:  A raw, gaping hope
XIV.  Jesus is laid in the tomb:  How can we enclose what cannot be contained?

Photo is of the 12th station (Jesus dies on the cross) in the Cloisters in New York City.  From Wikimedia commons, used under a Creative Commons license.