Way Of The Cross

7. Jesus Falls The Second Time

Again Christ falls! He grows weaker. The journey up the winding hill seems endless. He moves on silently. Each step tells His love for me. Every thought is a prayer that I may learn the lesson of the passion.

May I have the courage to choose the path that He lays out for meóthe path of self-restraint, the path of resistance to excessive pleasure, the path of loving service, the path of sympathy with those who stagger along the way.

May I prove worthy to follow in the footsteps of my Lord and King.

8. Jesus Consoles the Women of Jerusalem

What a picture of greatness! The exhausted Christ! The weary, bleeding, footsore Christ! The parched and fevered lips of the gentle Prisoner, whisper words of strength and comfort to the weeping women by the roadside!

What a sacrament of consolation must have touched the hearts of those women, through the words uttered by Him whose love was washing away the sins of the world!

And I, how little I do when I am suffering!

I am so absorbed in myself that I have not eyes to see the strugglers at my side, nor ears to hear the cry of those in distress.

When success smiles upon me and my prospects brighten, how rarely I look around for hearts that are discouraged, and for those whose lights are burning low!

My God, shall I ever resemble You?

9. Jesus Falls the Third Time

The dear Victim is dying, little by little, as He staggers up the rugged road. His strength is nearly spent. He is jostled by the crowd, urged to move on a little faster, and He hastens on! What a sight! What a lesson to me who am always so eager to do my will. How quick I am to resent being treated with lack of respect and courtesy! How quick and sharp are my words when things go contrary to my liking!

Here before me is the Lord of creation, scorned, despised, treat ignominiously. Not only does He not reply, but there is no resentment, no bitterness in His soul! He bids me pattern myself after Him. If He so bids me, it must be possible. Since He does so much for me, am I not eager to try to please Him and to become like Him?

Gracious King, accept the allegiance of my heart.

10. Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

What had Christ left that could be taken from Him? His honor, His reputation, His characteróeverything had been snatched from Him by the hand of injustice and calumny!

A few bits of bloodstained, tattered garments were all that remained to the greed of the vulgar soldiery.

I shall never be as destitute as Christ,. No, I shall never have that honor, but I may lose possessions, I may lose friends. My honor, which I cherish beyond all words to express, may be blasted by a malicious word.

What am I going to do then?

Am I going to allow the loss of material things to impoverish my soul?

Shall I allow the insincerity of friends to dry u the love-wells of my heart?

Shall I permit slander to make havoc in my soul? Oh, no!

May I rather gain through loss, than to allow these temporal wrongs to cheat me of resemblance to my Savior.

11. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Nailed! Hands and feet! He is burning with fever! His head is swollen with pain! The noise about Him sets every nerve in agony. The rough handling of the cross with the mangled body of my Lord upon it, is anguish unutterable!

My Lord is enduring this for me!

Great God, who am I?

Just a few yards off, two thieves are facing death. In a little while they will have the honor to be close to Christ. One a picture of success, the other an absolute failure! Both will look into the face of Christ! Both will hear His dying words of love and of forgiveness!

One dies a saint.

The other enters eternity unrepentant.

One accepts the grace offered by the dying Christ.

The other turns from it and pays no heed. How close to Christ I, too, have been! What graces He has showered on me! Long ago could I have been a saint, had I but used His manifold gifts.

Dearest Lord, forgive my squandered life.

May I begin today to serve You with all my heart.

12. Jesus Dies on the Cross

My God, my Friend is dying! The blood has ceased to drop from His sacred hands. His feet are purple from the weight upon them. His exquisite face is contorted from pain.

I must draw closer to the cross. My Godís lips are moving as if in prayer. He is begging forgiveness for those who have treated Him unjustly! His beautiful eyes, blood-shot and heavy, seek His Mother. Would that they might rest upon me for just an instant! Could I but tell Him of my love! He says He thirsts! Oh, that I might quench His thirst and cool His burning lips! But no. It is not thirst for drink, it is thirst for souls!

My God, here is my soul. I consecrate it to You forever. Accept me with all I have. May I rescue souls for You. May I quench this burning thirst and ease the weight of sin that presses down on my God.

Christ, my King is dead!

My Lord has sacrificed His life for me!

And I! Shall I not sacrifice my life for Him?

13. Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross

The beautiful Woman! The silent Mother! What anguish in that heart! What a magnificent picture of sorrow! What exquisite work has been accomplished in that perfect soul through the Cross!

Silently I draw close to this tender, sorrowing Mother and in the gloom and darkness of Calvary I whisper my love and veneration.

She smiles at me! A smile so like Her Sonís! It gives me courage to follow Her to that garden wherein there is a sepulchre.

Christ is being carried there.

I shall stay close to His Mother and to Him unto the end.

14. Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Christís sufferings are over. The cross has accomplished the work of expiating my sins and those of all the world. The great lesson of suffering has been taught by Him who knew not sin.

There is no sanctity without the cross.

Sanctity is the climax of success.

The cross-bearer holds the most exalted position in the world.

Let us shoulder our crosses with generosity.

Let us bow our heads in submission to the burdens of duty.

Let us walk steadfastly, knowing that the end is not far-distant.

There is ONE who travels with us. He knows the weight of sorrows.

His companionship is our strength and our security.

May He be our Friend forever.
References:

J. S. E., Vine and Branch, New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1918. Nihil Obstat, p.163-176