Way Of The Cross

Act Of Sorrow

Dear broken-hearted Savior, suffering for love of me, what shame I feel in the presence of such stupendous generosity. I, so cold, so indifferent, so insensitive to the heroism of my God and Friend.

What words can ever tell of the sorrow of my soul at the sight of my poor and empty life!

What reparation can I make You, darling Lord, for the many times I have been ashamed to acknowledge You for my Master and my King?

Dear broken-hearted Christ, forgive me.

I love You better than I know and grieve more deeply over my unfaithfulness to You than my life gives proof.

Give me the strength, most gracious Lord, to prove to You my love.

1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death

The great Love of souls is betrayed by His friends! He is deserted by those for whom He has done much! He is suspected and brought before the authorities! He, the perfect Man, is to be judged! He is condemned to die because they can find no guilt in Him!

Have I ever been betrayed by friends?

Have I had those to whom I have been kind, fail me at a crucial moment?

Have I had my words and actions twisted and misconstrued?

What suffering is this! How did I act under the strain?

Did I turn untrue, because others were unfair to me?

Christ was silent! He remained true in the face of infidelity.

He is my model.

2. Jesus Carries His Cross

Christ has spent the night in humiliation, in company with soldiers, who have spit upon Him, struck Him in the face, mocked Him and laughed Him to scorn. He has been beaten until His body is one mass of wounds and His head crowned with thorns. In this condition He is ordered to take the cross! He stretches out His arms and lifts it to His shoulder! No word escapes His fevered lips!

What a picture of human cruelty and of love divine!

What a beautiful Cross-bearer is Jesus Christ!

How great He is, weighed down with suffering!

And I! What picture do I make with the cross upon my shoulder?

Or do I drag it by my side half-heartedly, glum and sullen?

Perhaps I cast it from me and struggle on without it!

I must follow Christ. All cross-bearers are close to Christ.

3. Our Lord Falls the First Time

The exhausted, bleeding, heart-broken Christ falls from weakness. The burden is too heavy for His delicate frame. But His soul! That superb and noble soul wavers not as the worn-out body stumbles to the ground. He struggles to His feet and moves on through that hard, unfeeling crowd. Christ’s love for me carried Him through.

Perhaps it may be that my cross may come to me when I am spent and weary. I may be worn out by long vigil near a sick bed. My nerves may be unstrung from constant friction with trying persons. The body may grow weak, but may my soul rise up and grapple with these difficulties in order than the cross may not be marred, nor lose any of its splendor.

Dear, patient Christ, sustain me.

4. Jesus Meets His Mother

The suffering Christ meets His tender Mother! Two sublime cross-bearers stand face to face. What depths of anguish in their hearts! What marvels of strength of soul sustain them!

Each understands the other’s sorrow. Not a word of complaint! Not a murmur, not a sigh! Nothing mars the beauty of the stupendous work of the cross.

Were I to meet my beloved Mother at a turn of the road of life, would she find me carrying my cross valiantly as becomes one who draws strength fro the church of Christ?

Would she find me toiling up the hill of self-control, of generosity towards her Son, and of willingness to sacrifice all for Him?

Dearest Mother, meet me ever on my way.

Remind me of my duty.

5. Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

What acute pain, to the sensitive heart of Christ, must have been the reluctance of Simon of Cyrene to give Him relief!

What a wondrous favor it was for Simon, even reluctantly, to lift that precious cross!

Walking alongside the dear Man of Sorrows, a change comes over him. Close to that loving heart he finds his own transformed! The work of his sanctification has begun.

This is Christ’s return for Simon’s reluctant help! The reward of a magnanimous Heart for a small, cowardly service!

Do I crawl back, away from Christ, into the crowd of the world, ashamed to be an associate of this Man of Sorrows—this disfigured, bleeding, weary Victim?

Do I skulk away, afraid to lift His banner high. Afraid to travel in the ranks of the majestic King of Calvary?

My God, what a coward I am!

Give me strength to be loyal to Your cause.

6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Veronica passes through the rabble to wipe the face of the most beautiful of men. The face that, even in its bruised and wounded state, attracts and sanctifies.

With gentle tenderness, Veronica lifts the towel to the blood-stained face. She smoothes aside the hair that falls upon His forehead. The blood and dirt and spittle are stuck fast, but the face, that lovely, hallowed face, leaves its impress on the love-held towel!

Veronica steps back from out of the crowd, not knowing what she holds within her hands until, in the shadow of her home, she falls upon her knees in wondering, trembling awe! Her master and her King has thanked her in His own sweet, tender way!

Dearest Lord, may I so spend myself for others, through the love of You that, day by day, the impress of Your life may stamp itself upon every thought and word and deed. May I be ever on the watch for passerby, in need of comfort and of help.

Continue to Station 7

References:

J. S. E., Vine and Branch, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1918. Nihil Obstat, p.149-162