- Mother Angelica's Way of the Cross by Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA ()
- Mother Angelica's Way of the Cross
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History of the Way of the Cross. God sent his only son Jesus to the world, in order to show us how much God loved us. Jesus also came to teach us how to live a good life, so we can enjoy eternal life with God. God knew that people are weak and they needed help. So, God let his Son take the human body, but not just that, He let his Son pay the price for our sins.
Jesus chose to suffer for us, so we can go to heaven. The stations of the cross gives us a small glimpse of what Jesus went through. In reality it was far more worse — yet meditating upon just fourteen events helps us as families to offer our sufferings in this world and combine them with the sufferings of Jesus in a prayerful manner. The way of the cross is based upon the gospel Bible reflections on how Jesus carrying his cross walked through the streets in Jerusalem towards the place of execution called Golgotha.
Most of us call it Calvary or the place of the skull. The church meditates upon fourteen special events that happened to Jesus on his way to Calvary — these fourteen events are called the stations of the cross. Every Friday at 3pm the Franciscans follow the way of the cross with the faithful. The present road is known as the Via Dolorosa , or the Sorrowful Way.
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The last four stations are made on Calvary in the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. The more you will come to love suffering, the purer your love for Me will be Faustina: People Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans Jesus: Celebrant Involuntary offenses of souls do not hinder My love for them or prevent Me from uniting Myself with them.
But voluntary offenses, even the smallest, obstruct My graces, and I cannot lavish My gifts on such souls O my Jesus, how prone I am to evil, and this forces me to be constantly vigilant. But I do not lose heart. All: Merciful Lord, preserve me from every, even the tiniest but voluntary and conscious infidelity.
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Celebrant : Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Jesus: Celebrant Although all the works that come into being by My will are exposed to great sufferings, consider whether any of them has been subject to greater difficulties than that work which is directly Mine — the work of Redemption. You should not worry too much about adversities. Faustina: People I saw the Blessed Virgin, unspeakably beautiful. She held me close to herself and said to me, I am Mother to you all, thanks to the unfathomable mercy of God.
Most pleasing to me is that soul which faithfully carries out the will of God. Be courageous. Do not fear apparent obstacles, but fix your gaze upon the Passion of my Son, and in this way you will be victorious Jesus: Celebrant Write that by day and by night My gaze is fixed upon him, and I permit these adversities in order to increase his merit. Faustina: People Jesus, You do not give a reward for the successful performance of a work, but for the good will and the labor undertaken.
Mother Angelica's Way of the Cross by Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA ()
Therefore, I am completely at peace, even if all my undertakings and efforts should be thwarted or should come to naught. If I do all that is in my power, the rest is not my business All: Jesus, my Lord, let my every thought, word, and deed be undertaken exclusively out of love for You. Keep on cleansing my intentions. Sung Verse: Let me share with thee His pain Who for all my sins was slain, Who for me in torments died.
Celebrant : He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; There was in Him no stately bearing to make us look at Him, no appearance that would attract us to Him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity. Jesus: Celebrant Know that whatever good you do to any soul, I accept it as if you had done it to Me Faustina: People I am learning how to be good from Jesus, from Him who is goodness itself, so that I may be called a [child] of the heavenly Father Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions All: Lord Jesus, my Master, grant that my eyes, my hands, my lips and my heart may always be merciful.
Transform me into mercy. Jesus: Celebrant The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy Know that of yourself you can do nothing Without special help from Me, you are not even capable of accepting My graces Faustina: People Jesus, do not leave me alone in suffering.
You know, Lord, how weak I am. So You, Jesus, must stand by me constantly like a mother by a helpless child — and even more so All: May Your grace assist me, Lord, that I may not keep falling continuously into the same faults; and when I fall, help me to rise and glorify Your mercy. Celebrant : A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented Him. Jesus: Celebrant O how pleasing to Me is living faith! Tell all, that I demand that they live in the spirit of faith Faustina: People I fervently beg the Lord to strengthen my faith, so that in my drab, everyday life I will not be guided by human dispositions, but by those of the spirit.
Oh, how everything drags man towards the earth! But lively faith maintains the soul in the higher regions and assigns self-love its proper place; that is to say, the lowest one So then, teach us to accept help in this way when we need it. The help given us in Your name can also impress Your image on the hearts of our helpers. Whether we help or are helped, our hearts can always grow lighter as we understand this truth. Jesus speaks: There is a sharper interior pain when, after being helped, you find yourself again helpless.
My mother Mary, Simon and Veronica had just provided Me in different ways a new courage.
Simon helped carry the patibulum crossbar , but My feet still refused to carry Me. Now I stumbled and My face lay in the well-trodden dust of Jerusalem. This brought renewed, sharp pain from the crown of thorns. But the sharper pain came from the thought of falling just after being helped. I respond: Lord Jesus, I know how this is. Kind relatives and friends come to comfort me, to try to raise my spirits, to take my mind from the aches of the body, to pass an hour with me on the back porch of memories stored. Then before long, some new demand of the body intrudes.
Some rude reminder jumps at me from the lips of a tired, overworked nurse. Some new doubt comes to cast a blurring shadow across my conscience. There is nobody who could be expected to understand. Show me then, Jesus, how to get up again and go on. You promised that Your yoke would be easy and Your burden light. These are the words I spoke to the weeping women who stood along the way, their frightened children clinging to their garments.
I was not refusing their tears, but remembering tears I had myself shed over Jerusalem. But the yearning of My heart met only the pride and refusal of those hearts turned against the truth. I did not refuse tears, but looked beyond to the tears of these clinging children in their adult years.
Not a stone would be left upon a stone. There would be none to dry the tears of their children. I respond:Yes, Lord, there were tears along the way to the hill of the skull. But here on the cheeks of these weeping women is the answer Pilate sought in vain. And in their hearts was the answer he wanted. Help us, Lord, as we grow old in years, not to grow in hardness of heart, refusing to drop an ancient grudge, to forgive the injury we still remember even as we become more forgetful of other things.
This puts us in the company of those who chose Barabbas. Help us rather to join the holy women who wept over You. Jesus speaks: There is a strong contrast between a person standing and a person fallen or lying on the ground. There is also a big difference between one who walks with confidence and ease and one who stumbles and sways. As I lie in the dust of the city street, no one rushes to help. Rather, the soldiers prod Me. Do you notice the contrast between the Man in the dust and the Man who walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee, the contrast between the groans of the fallen Man and the confident voice that rebuked the winds and the sea and made them calm?
My helplessness is measured against the former show of strength and power.
My helplessness now is the proof. I respond: Yes, Lord, we know You took on the fullness of our weak human nature. You experienced everything except sin. We remember the scampering of our youth, the proud, sometimes proud stride of maturity. Our gait now is uncertain, sometimes stumbling. Some of us fall and break bones. Help us to offer our dependence on others, our helplessness joined to Yours, as the force behind our hope and longing to help others reach heaven.
Jesus speaks: At the beginning of My life, My mother wrapped Me in swaddling clothes.
Mother Angelica's Way of the Cross
That was not far from here, a few miles away at Bethlehem. Her hands had the careful, gentle touch of all young mothers. She brought with her the recent skill of helping her cousin Elizabeth with the infant John. Now the soldiers pull away My garments. They cast lots for the seamless one. The scourging had left my body a mass of wounds. Now the rivulets of blood flow again. There is new pain. There is worse pain — from embarrassment. I offer everything to My Father. My mother recalls the swaddling clothes, the many garments that through the years her hands have made for Me and for Joseph, given to be My father on earth by My Father in heaven.
I respond: Lord, sometimes in sickness or old age, we go back to the dependency of infancy. We need help in clothing ourselves, in divesting. It certainly affords a great time for exercising humility, for realizing how caring even for the very simple needs of life can be beyond us. We also ask for those suffering from cold because they lack suitable lodging and clothes.
Jesus speaks: The devotion of the good people who have walked with Me the Way of the Cross has long counted three falls. Now there can be no more, for my feet are nailed to the cross. A long spike has torn through flesh. It has separated and crushed bones. My ordinary earthly journeys are ended. My feet can no longer bear Me to the desert to enjoy its quiet and solitude in prayer to my Father.
They cannot carry Me to the temple nor to the homes of My friends; neither can they take me to fishing boats nor bear Me to the gathering places where in the open air I proclaimed the Kingdom. My hands, pierced at the wrists, cause Me more pain than the feet, for here the big nails rub against a large nerve center. But each shooting pain is an arrow that wings its message of utmost love, even to those who have nailed shut the doors of their hearts.
I respond: Lord, we thank you for explaining. Sometimes the pains of advancing years make a person fretful. The pain echoes in the violence of our speech. Help our relatives and friends, our nurses hear more the message of discouragement and pain rather than the exact meaning of the words that burst from our lips.
Help us to remember Your silence before Your judges, to recall Your words turned not to accuse or shout, but rather telling in renewed prayer to Your Father that Your heart is not nailed but free and gentle.