Stations of the Cross
Stations 7, 8, 9 and 10
For an explanation of the history and significance
of this very special Lenten devotion, you are invited to follow this
link, which also pictures the fourteen striking woven panels, designed
by Sister Anthony of Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral, and worked by
members of our congregation.
THE SEVENTH STATION
Jesus Falls the Second Time
Again my son fell,
and again my grief was overwhelming
at the thought that he might die.
I started to move toward him,
but the soldiers prevented me.
He rose and stumbled ahead slowly.
Seeing my son fall, get up again,
and continue on,
was bitter anguish to me.
But, since I knew this had to be,
I walked on silently.
Lord, of all people
Mary was your most faithful follower,
never stopping in spite of
all the pain she felt for you.
I have many times turned away from you
by my sins and have caused others
to turn away from you.
I beg you to have mercy on me.
Jesus speaks to the women
I was walking a few steps behind Jesus
when I saw him stop.
Some women were there
crying for him and pitying him.
He told them not to shed tears for him.
They had the opportunity to accept him
as the messiah; like many others,
they rejected him instead.
He told them to shed tears for themselves,
tears that would bring their conversion.
They did not see the connection
between that and his walk to death.
I did, and as he walked on,
I followed silently
many times have I acted like these women,
always seeing the faults of others and pitying them.
Yet, very rarely have I seen my own sinfulness
and asked your pardon.
Lord, you have taught me through these women. Forgive me, Lord,
for my blindness.
Jesus falls the third time
This fall of Jesus was agony to me.
Not only had he fallen on the rocky ground again,
but now he was almost at the top
of the hill of crucifixion.
The soldiers screamed at him and abused him,
almost dragging him the last few steps.
My heart pounded as I imagined
what they would do to him next.
But, I knew this had to be,
so I climbed the hill silently behind him.
My loving Jesus, I know that many times
I have offered my hand to help people
but when it became inconvenient
or painful to me I left them,
making excuses for myself.
Help me, Lord,
to be like your mother, Mary,
and never take my supporting hand
away from those who need it.
Jesus is stripped of his garments
With my son finally relieved
of the weight of the cross,
I thought he would have a chance to rest.
But the guards immediately started
to rip his clothes off his blood-clotted skin.
The sight of my son in such pain was unbearable.
Yet, since I knew this had to be,
I stood by and cried silently.
Lord, in my own way I too have stripped you.
I have taken away the good name of another
by foolish talk, and have stripped people
of human dignity by my prejudice.
Jesus, there are so many ways I have offended you through the hurt
I have caused others.
Help me to see you in all people.
Follow to the final four stations
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