If you’ve recently walked inside a Church, you may recall seeing fourteen paintings or sculptures representing Jesus’ journey from the time He is sentenced to death until His body is laid in the tomb. These Stations of the Cross (also known as the Way of the Cross) draw us closer to Jesus as we reflect on the immeasurable love He poured out for us in his suffering and dying.
Tradition traces this ancient form of prayer back to Our Blessed Mother, when she made her own journey retracing her Son’s last steps. Mary’s reflection on the events and encounters of Jesus on His way to Calvary, is known as the Via Dolorosa, or the Sorrowful Way.
While this prayer has its roots that date back centuries, there is a depth and power to it, that when prayed today, can help transform our modern world. We come to understand that “we are not bystanders to an historical event,” but called to find ourselves in the story.
Are you Simon? Relate to Veronica? Do you ever feel crushed by the weight of your own struggles? Wherever you see yourself, reflecting on the stations helps us understand that we are never alone. When we fall and when we feel like we are on the top of a mountain, Jesus is there — with a love so strong it endured the weight of the Cross.
Our team at Grotto Network invites you to reflect with us this Holy Week. You can pray the entire Stations of the Cross at once, or set aside time each day this week to sit with the various experiences and encounters.
Whichever you choose, our advice is to just be you. Come to the Cross, just as you are! There is no need for perfection. No need for clarity. You don’t have to hide your authentic self. Just be you. Jesus will meet you there. You don’t have to fix yourself first or hide the dark parts of your life. Walk with Jesus.
The encounters you experience along His way will expand your heart, making room for His love to find a home in your life and give you the courage to go out and serve. As Pope Francis, beautifully said, the Cross of Christ teaches us to “look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer.”
Have courage! Walk with us along the way through Grotto’s Stations of the Cross.