"Effectively, what are we accomplishing on earth when we suffer? We are applying to ourselves the merit of the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
And what is God doing in heaven? He is eternally fulfilling the purpose for which His Son suffered and died, by granting eternal happiness to souls redeemed by this Divine Savior." (St. Louise de Marillac, A.20)
Dearest Jesus, open our hearts and minds to this pilgrimage in memory of your journey to Calvary. Grant that we may grow in our awareness of you and come to fuller recognition of you in others. AMEN.
"God, who has granted me so many graces, led me to understand that it was His holy will that I go to Him by way of the Cross. His goodness chose to mark me with it from my birth and He has hardly ever left me, at any age, without some occasion of suffering." (Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, page 711 A.29 "On Charity," before 1633)
Jesus, you were condemned by others to die. Today, the world continues to condemn you in acts of hate, bigotry, exclusion, and other sinful actions.
Dearest Jesus, we ask for courage that we might be your love and mercy so that, we may no longer condemn but exalt you to the world. AMEN.
Jesus, you took up your cross to walk the way to Calvary. You did not deserve this cross. Yet, you bore it out of love for us - your labor oflove.
Dearest Jesus, we ask for the grace to carry the crosses in our lives. Help us to labor in love for those in need and for love of you. AMEN.
Jesus, the cross you bore was heavy. To fall is human. Yet, in your falling you show us the strength of your love for us - your SUPER human, divine love for us.
Dearest Jesus, we ask for the gift of humility. Help us to remember that falling is always an opportunity to breathe in your grace and then get back up. AMEN.
Jesus, your Mother was waiting to meet you on this path. Her unwavering and courageous love for you was so evident, that she made this most painful journey with you, her Son.
Dearest Jesus, we ask for this same unwavering and courageous love for our neighbor. Please grant us the ability to accompany others in times of great need with a heart like Mary's. AMEN.
Jesus, the cross became too heavy to bear on your own. In your time of need, another came to lift some of your burden. You accepted.
Dearest Jesus, open our hearts to the gift of simplicity. Help us to receive help from others - acknowledging our own humanity and frailty with grace. AMEN.
Jesus, carrying the cross along the path was chaotic and fatiguing. Veronica came to wipe your face, gently removing sweat and tears. She helped to clear your vision for the rest of your agonizing journey.
Dearest Jesus, we ask for the compassion to ease the tears of our neighbors. We ask for humility in allowing others to assist us when we are fatigued and our vision is blurred. AMEN.
Jesus, because the path was long and the cross was heavy, you fell a second time. For a second time failure and shame gripped your heart.
Dearest Jesus, we know that falling is not failure. Falling is part of our humanity. Give us the grace to know and accept our own limitations as well as those of our neighbors. AMEN.
Jesus, along this way of sorrow and suffering you met some who loved you. Your path was taking you to Calvary. The women of Jerusalem journeyed with you to remind you that you were not alone.
Dearest Jesus, there are times when we suffer, and we see others suffer. Help us to recognize those who comfort us, AND give us courage to accompany others in their suffering - loving each other in your name. AMEN.
Jesus, your journey was becoming unbearable. For a third time, your body collapsed - revealing how your life in this world would come to an end.
Dearest Jesus, give us your eyes and heart when we see others who fall again and again - those whose earthly bodies are fragile and weary. Give us grace to be your strength for the fallen. AMEN.
Jesus, at the end of this way, on this path you were stripped. This final indignity - the degradation of your holiness and humanity.
Dearest Jesus, when we see others disgraced, it is so hard to look. We turn away. Give us the courage to see our brothers and sisters stripped of dignity and humanity. Give us the grace to see them as you do - in your image. AMEN.
Jesus, this journey brought you to this moment - nailed to a cross - symbol of a criminal. You had been convicted, sentenced, and condemned in spite of your obedient innocence.
Dearest Jesus, nails are for building - not for killing. Give us the courage to be a voice for those who are falsely accused and become victims of broken and uniust systems. Remind us that we are ALL your children. AMEN.
Jesus, your human journey ended. Your your breath was offered to your Father. Your final words, "It is finished." Or is it?
Dearest Jesus, there is no greater love than to lay down our life for another. Please grant us the grace to offer our lives in simplicity, charity, humility, forgiveness, mercy, and by caring for our Mother Earth. Help us to respond generously to your invitation to give our lives for others. AMEN.
Jesus, your mother with your loved ones gathered to claim your body after your execution.
Dearest Jesus, give us hearts to claim those who suffer great indignities. Grant us the strength to hold their bodies and say their names - even when it seems difficult. Give us courage to honor those who have been forgotten or despised by others. AMEN.
Jesus, out of deep respect and love, you were laid to rest in a tomb. Your friends came to anoint and prepare your body for its resting place.
Dearest Jesus, we are reminded of the corporal work of mercy to bury the dead. Yet, we know that those who experience poverty, oppression, and war are frequently not honored in this way. Grant us the wisdom to bring dignity to those who have died. AMEN.
Jesus, as promised, your body did not remain in that tomb. You rose from the dead, forever conquering sin and death for all. After one great act of love - dying on a cross - you gave us the unimaginable gift of eternal life with you.
Dearest Jesus, grant us the generosity to remember that salvation, love, and mercy is not to be held tightly but shared with ALL - ALWAYS. AMEN.