St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, March 24, 2006

Seventh & Eighth Stations w/Meditations

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Seventh Station:

Outside the walls of the city, the body of Jesus again gives way through weakness, and he falls a second time, amid the shouts of the crowd and the rough handling of the soldiers.

Infirmity of body and bitterness of soul have caused Jesus to fall again. All the sins of men —mine too — weigh down on his Sacred Humanity.

He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows, and we have taken him for a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities and bruised for our sins. On him fell the punishment that brought us salvation, and by his wounds we have been healed (Isai 53:4-5).

Jesus stumbles, but his fall lifts us up, his death brings us back to life.

To our falling again and again into evil, Jesus responds with his determination to redeem us, with an abundance of forgiveness. And, so that no one may despair, again he wearily raises himself, embracing the Cross.

May our stumbles and defeats separate us from Him no more. Just as a feeble child throws itself contritely into the strong arms of its father, you and I will hold tightly to the yoke of Jesus. Only a contrition and humility like this can transform our human weakness into the fortitude of God.

Points for meditation

1. Jesus is brought down by the weight of the Cross... We, by the attraction of the things of this world.

He prefers to fall rather than let go of the Cross. That is how Christ heals the lack of love that casts us down.

2. You are discouraged, why? Is it your sins and miseries? Is it your defeats, at times coming one after the other? A really big fall, which you didn 't expect?

Be simple. Open your heart. Look: as yet nothing has been lost. You can still go forward, and with more love, with more affection, with more strength.

Take refuge in your divine sonship: God is your most loving Father. In this lies your security, a haven where you can drop anchor no matter what is happening on the surface of the sea of life. And you will find joy, strength, optimism: victory!

3. You said to me: Father, I am having a very rough time.

In answer I whispered in your ear: Take upon your shoulders a small part of that cross, just a tiny part. And if you can 't manage that then... leave it entirely on the strong shoulders of Christ. And from this moment on, repeat with me: My Lord and my God: into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future, what is small and what is great, what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot, things temporal and things eternal.

Then, don 't worry any more.

4. From time to time I have wondered which kind of martyrdom is the greater: that of the person who receives death for the faith, at the hands of God 's enemies; or the martyrdom of someone who spends his years working with no other purpose than that of serving the Church and souls, and who grows old smiling, all the while passing unnoticed...

For me, the unspectacular martyrdom is more heroic... That is your way.

5. In order to follow Our Lord, to get close to him, we have to trample our own selves underfoot, by means of humility, just as grapes are trodden in the winepress.

If we trample on our wretchedness —for wretched we certainly are — He gladly makes himself at home in our soul. And, as he did in Bethany, he speaks to us and we to him, in a trusting conversation between friends.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Eighth Station:

Among the people watching Our Lord as he passes by are a number of women who are unable to restrain their compassion and break into tears, perhaps recalling those glorious days spent with Jesus, when everyone exclaimed in amazement: bene omnia fecit (Mark 7:37), he has done all things well.

But Our Lord wishes to channel their weeping towards a more supernatural motive, and he invites them to weep for sins, which are the cause of the Passion and which will draw down the rigour of divine justice:

Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children... For if they do these things to the green wood, what shall be done to the dry? (Luke 23:28,31).

Your sins, my sins, the sins of all men, rise up. All the evil we have done and the good that we have neglected to do. The desolate panorama of the countless crimes and iniquities which we would have committed, if He, Jesus, had not strengthened us with the light of his most loving glance.

How little a life is for making atonement!

Points for meditation

1. The saints, you tell me, would burst into tears of sorrow at the thought of the Passion of Our Lord. Whereas I...

Perhaps that is because you and I witness the scenes, but do not 'live ' them.

2. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:11). Not only that: they drag him out of the city to crucify him.

Jesus replies with an invitation to repentance, now, while the soul is a wayfarer and there is still time.

Contrition, profound contrition for our sins. Sorrow for the inexhaustible malice of men, which is hastening to put Our Lord to death. Atonement for those who still stubbornly seek to make the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross sterile.

3. We must bring people together, we must understand others, we must make allowances.

Never put up a cross just to keep alive the memory that some people have killed others. Such a cross would betoken the devil.

Christ 's Cross is to keep silent, to forgive and to pray for those on both sides, so that all may attain peace.

4. The Master passes very close to us, again and again. He looks at us... And if you look at him, if you listen to him, if you don 't reject him, He will teach you how to give a supernatural meaning to everything you do... Then you too, wherever you may be, will sow consolation and peace and joy.

5. No matter how much you may love, you will never love enough.

The human heart is endowed with an enormous coefficient of expansion. When it loves, it opens out in a crescendo of affection that overcomes all barriers.

If you love Our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart.

From The Way of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva

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