“Jesus Suffered and Died for ME”. Have you ever thought it a little narcissistic thinking, He died for Me! Why end the meditation there? The whole idea someone would die for you is out of style these days, we are living in a; me, mine, “my power”, my face, I phone world. It takes some real thinking to get the idea someone would voluntarily give up all they love and enjoy for anyone! Contemplate the Stations of the Cross and you shall find there are other ways to interpret this mediation.
Instead of thinking it is a story of cruelty look at it as an icon painting for instruction. Christ showed us How to suffer well without judging who made the suffering. The idea is surrender your whole being to what seems unfair and accept the outcome with love and forgiveness. Ask yourself who gave us life in the first place? We demand we get a free safe ride or we protect ourselves at the expense to others. To Contemplate the Stations of the Cross is to look at both sides of the event, in all its horror and pointless injury.
We say: we suffer and endure but how? We say: we have made others suffer for our benefit but why?
The Stations of the Cross and the thoughts which accompany the journey potentially opens our hearts to the poor and suffering in the world today. We participate in this story as victim and victimizer, as the Christ and the witness to Christ. The meditations take you on a journey where you can be many people, bouncing from side to side as the story unfolds. You are the crucified, the forgotten unjustly punished or you are the one who doles out the hatred or the one who stands by and allows it to happen to others.
We see it in the ghetto, the prison, the jobless broken-hearted, the natural disasters, the warring nations, and all our brothers and sisters who live in unbearable situations. We find insight into the love we can be in Christ, whether we are victim or victimizer. It takes courage to examine how we reject innocent love offered and how we contribute to the harsh unfair world around us.
After the tears of awareness stop our hearts yearn to imitate the heart of Christ. That heart can carry more than it’s share while still offering comfort to the poor, it is a heart shamed at the sight of a child in pain or a homeless refuge. We all fall under the weight of living and wonder how can we help each other today.
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Take on this traditional devotion with courage to integrate a fresh, peace-and-justice-oriented contemplation about our world and what we do in it.
It’s a great opportunity to pray “with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other”.
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