Pope Francis has called on the faithful to enter more fully into the spirit of sacrifice, renewal, and repentance during the Lenten season. We can embrace this call in various ways, including by praying the “Stations of the Cross.” Our Holy Father has encouraged us to pray the “Stations”, and stressed their importance. He reminded the faithful that the Cross of Christ bears the suffering and sins of mankind and that Christ bears our crosses on His shoulders.
The publication “Catholic Online” stated, “The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day.”
As reported by the media outlet, “Catholic News Service”, the following are extracts from Pope Francis’ personal reflections at the end of the “Way of the Cross”:
Let the feelings of faith, hope, charity, and sorrow for our sins be ingrained in our hearts, Lord, and lead us to repent for our sins that have crucified You.
Lead us to transform our conversion made of words into a conversion of life and deeds.
Crucified Jesus, strengthen the faith in us so that it does not give in before temptations, rekindle hope in us so that it does not get lost by following the world’s seductions.
Protect charity in us, so that it not be deceived by corruption and worldliness.
As we reflect on these words, we may note that each Friday during Lent we are invited to come together as a faith community to pray the “Stations of the Cross.” We begin at 7:00 pm with a brief reflection by one of our deacons. The reflection focuses on our Lenten challenges and concerns. “Stations” then follow at 7:15 pm.
As we continue to strive to cope with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, we can also pray the “Stations” in the privacy of our own residence. A pre-recorded version of the “Stations” is available on the parish website.
Praying the “Stations” can provide us with an opportunity to avail ourselves of abundant spiritual graces. Commemorating the Passion of Jesus through the “Stations” can help us to more fully appreciate what Jesus has done for us. They can also help us to clearly witness our faith and assist us in this special time of spiritual renewal.
We are strongly encouraged to prayerfully consider making the “Stations” an integral part of our Lenten journey.