Lent begins this year on 17th of February, So much repentance going on! Whether or not we know it, the Earth is holding our pain. In a spiritual sense we are learning to suffer well, without anger or resentment. How can we come to know ourselves in God without recognizing we all share in the same journey?
The Stations of the Cross became a Christian devotional practice in the thirteenth century. They use the ritual metaphorically to journey with Jesus from his trial to his entombment. The participants stand before replicas to immerse themselves in the story of Jesus Christ’s final sufferings as he walked to Mount Calvary. The road between his condemnation at court and final crucifixion is called the Via Dolorosa (“Way of Sorrows”) or Via Crucis (“ The Way ”). In Jerusalem it is walked by devout pilgrims today. Vi a Crucis is exemplary not for one man’s walk on one historic day, but the walk for all humanity. The idea is to gain the awareness of our human condition and conclude, “If Christ has done it so can I.” His journey teaches us to not grumble or complain about injustice showing us the Way of surrender with dignity.
Easter, a season devoted to deep examination and reflection on self.
For two thousand years the human condition has changed little, we all feel abandoned. Migrant workers, soldiers, prisoners, victims of racial discrimination, violence, the poor, the homeless, the grieving, and the mentally ill are among the many people we will meet along the path. We focus our mind and heart on The Way, realizing there is strength in his example whatever our circumstances. Lent comprises the 40 days before Easter, a season devoted to deep examination and reflection on self. From the earliest of days of Christianity, followers of Jesus told the story of his passion, death, and resurrection. Pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem were eager to see the sites where Jesus walked. When Christianity took root around the globe, these holy sites were too distant to travel. By 1500 AD, communities all over the world started creating “small enshrined replicas” of the route to Calvary in Jerusalem. Eventually, these shrines became known as the 14 Stations.
Sacred Art is more than Biblical Story telling.
Rituals like the Stations of the Cross are designed not only as visual tool for the community, but to bridge the physical realm with that of the spiritual. Rituals and Liturgy help us navigate through a prescribed set of movements, and motifs to open us to insights and new perspectives. While traditional forms of reenactments retain rich connotations for underlying messages, there is still room for reinterpretation. Those who participate can traverse boundaries in their consciousnesses and have their normal life transformed. The Stations of the Cross allows me the inquiry about why we have to suffer. I question how can we learn to suffer well, including the social, political, and metaphysical ways of suffering.
My small collection highlights Jesus’ faces, hands and the cross to underscore our human commonality.
The Stations exalt unjust suffering, particularly by those individuals struggling against authority. By the end of the meditation, each one of us gets seen, touched and crucified with Christ every day.
The Stations of Cross
The book begins with a clear introduction to the historical value for walking the Stations of Cross as a ritual during Lent. Mary Jane Miller painted the collection in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The images are brilliantly artistic and accompanied by her genius interpretation, which changes this rite into a passion play. Either reading this Lenten meditation alone or as a group together, this small book of image and text provokes deep thought. The meditations stimulate new insights into today’s world and possibly peace of mind.
One member said, “I found myself sufficiently vulnerable to walk in Jesus’ shoes, shoulder his burdens, open my heart and broaden my intentions to better see His message of love and surrender” 35 pages of spiritual strength and wisdom waiting to be revealed as you witness and walk.
Stations of the Cross ORDER INFO
For more information about Mary Jane Miller and her wonderful ministry, visit her blog at San Miguel icons. You may find out about her books at Mary Jane Miller at Amazon and you can follow Mary Jane at Facebook and Twitter. Mary Jane’s wonderful workshops have been suspended due to Corona stay tuned at Sacred Icon Retreats.