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Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis

3/22/2008 - 20:06 PST

(Page 7 of 7)

dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum,
ut sibi complaceam.

ELEVENTH STATION

Jesus promises his Kingdom to the Good Thief

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (23:33, 42-43)

And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified Jesus, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. One of the criminals said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Meditation

He was an evil-doer. He represents all evil-doers, that is to say, all of us. He had the good fortune to be close to Jesus in suffering, but all of us have this good fortune. Like him, let us say: "Lord, remember us, when you come into your kingdom." We will receive the same reply.

And what of those who do not have the good fortune to be close to Jesus? Jesus is close to them, to each and every one.

"Jesus, remember us": let us speak these words to him for ourselves, for our friends, for our enemies, and for the persecutors of our friends. The salvation of all people is the Lord's true victory.

Prayer

Jesus, remember me when, conscious of my unfaithfulness, I am tempted to despair.

Jesus, remember me when, after repeated efforts, I once more find myself deep in the valley of darkness.

Jesus, remember me when everyone is weary of me and no one trusts me any more, and I find myself alone and abandoned.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Sancta mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

TWELFTH STATION

The mother of Jesus and the beloved disciple at the foot of the Cross

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (19:25-27)

Standing by the Cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Meditation

Jesus is not thinking of himself even in that moment of supreme suffering: he thinks of his Mother and he thinks of us. Does he first of all entrust his Mother to the disciple, as Saint John seems to suggest, or does he rather entrust the disciple to his Mother?

Be that as it may, for the disciple Mary will always be the Mother entrusted to him by his dying Master, and for Mary the disciple will always be the son entrusted to her by her dying Son; she will remain spiritually close to him, especially at the hour of death. Alongside all dying martyrs, then, she, their Mother, will always be standing at the foot of their cross, supporting them.

Prayer

Jesus and Mary, you shared suffering even to the end: Jesus on the Cross, and Mary at the foot of the Cross. A spear pierced the Saviour's side and a sword penetrated the heart of the Virgin Mother.

In truth, it is we through our sins who have caused such suffering.

Accept the repentance of us all, since through our weakness we have always been exposed to the risk of betraying, denying and deserting.

Accept the homage of faithfulness from all those who have followed the example of Saint John, who remained courageously at the foot of the Cross.

Jesus and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul. Jesus and Mary, help me in my final agony. Jesus and Mary, may my last breath be at peace with you.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus dies on the Cross

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (23:46)

Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this, he breathed his last.

Meditation

Jesus truly dies, because he is truly man. He hands over his last breath to the Father. O, how precious is that breath! The breath of life was given to the first man, and it is given to us once more, in a new way, after the resurrection of Jesus, so that we are able to offer every breath to him who gave us breath. What fear we have of death and how enslaved we are by this fear! The meaning and value of a life are determined by the manner in which it is given away. Even for the unbeliever it is not acceptable to cling to life, losing all sense of its meaning. And for Jesus, there is no greater love than that which leads us to lay down our life for our friends. Those who are attached to life will lose it. Those who are ready to sacrifice it will keep it.

The martyrs give the supreme testimony of their love. They are not ashamed of their Master before men. The Master will be proud of them before all humanity on the last day.

Prayer

Jesus, you assumed human life so that you could give it away. In taking on our sinful human flesh, you, immortal King, became mortal. In accepting the most tragic and dark death, the ultimate fruit of sin, you accomplished the supreme act of complete trust in the Father. "In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum."

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
morientem desolatum,
cum emisit spiritum.

FOURTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the tomb

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (15:46)

Joseph of Arimathea bought a linen shroud, and taking the body of Jesus down from the Cross, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Meditation

Jesus chose not to come down alive from the Cross, but to rise from the tomb. True death, true silence, the Word of Life will be silent for three days.

Let us imagine the shock experienced by our first parents upon seeing the lifeless body of Abel, the first victim of death.

Let us think of Mary's sorrow, as she embraces the body of Jesus, now reduced to a heap of wounds, more a worm than a man, no longer capable of returning his Mother's loving gaze. Now she must consign him to the cold stones of the tomb, after hastily washing him and laying him out. It only remains now to wait. How interminable that wait seems, until the third day.

Prayer

Lord, the three days seem so long to us. Our stronger brethren grow weary, our weaker brethren gradually sink lower and lower, while the arrogant hold their heads high. Give perseverance to the strong, Lord, rouse the weak, and lead the hearts of all to conversion.

Are we right to be in a hurry, to want to see the victory of the Church straight away? Does our victory not consist rather in our eagerness to see it? Lord, grant us the perseverance to stand alongside the Church of silence and to accept that we will disappear and die like the grain of wheat.

Help us always to be mindful of your words, Lord: "Do not be afraid! I have overcome the world. I shall never fail you. I am with you always, until the end of the world."

Lord, increase our faith!

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, et in terra.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

The Holy Father speaks to those present.
At the close of his address, the Holy Father imparts his Apostolic Blessing.

BLESSING

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
R. Ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.

V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.

V. Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater, etFilius, et Spiritus Sanctus.

R. Amen.

Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Keywords

Zen, Stations, Cross, Via Crucis

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