Monday, June 30, 2014

My Favorite Method of Prayerfully Meditating on the Stations of the Cross

Happy Monday!

For lots of Catholics, Lent is synonymous with "Stations of the Cross." Each Friday, in churches and Catholic schools, people gather to prayerfully meditate on the Passion. And there are tons of methods to use when praying the Stations; lots of different booklets and whatnot. You've got St. Alphonsus Liguori's booklet, St. Francis of Assisi's "Way of the Cross," and a plethora of booklets for kids (some better than others) to pray the Stations of the Cross. Well, several months ago I discovered my favorite (and surprise! It's not St. Francis of Assisi's method).

Last Fall on household retreat, I was introduced to the Divine Mercy Stations of the Cross. Immediately, I fell in love with them, and started using those particular Stations for prayerful meditation, especially during Lent.

What this Method is Like: 
1. Each Station has a Scripture reading. And how can you go wrong with Scripture? It's the best way to meditate on Our Lord's Passion.

2. After the Scripture, there is a paragraph for the "celebrant"--and this paragraph consists of the words of Christ. Yup, it's awesome. These passages are from Jesus' words in St. Faustina's Diary.

3. The people's response is written by St. Faustina. So the next small paragraph is taken from a section of St. Faustina's Diary. 

It's not rocket science, it's not complicated, and above all it's not sugary-mushy-gushy meditations (I've definitely prayed with some booklets for the Stations that fall into this category).

The words of Christ + the words of St. Faustina + Scripture = An epic meditation on God's merciful, sacrificial love (which is what I personally want to pray with during the Stations). Plus, since many people never crack open The Diary (let's be honest, it's huge and looks somewhat terrifying), praying the Divine Mercy Stations is a fantastic way to begin prayerfully reading sections of it.

The Divine Mercy Stations are available at some Catholic bookstores, but I--as a poor married college student--do the cheap option and print them off here.

I highly recommend taking a look at these online or buying the book (I think the book also includes St. Alphonsus Liguori's "Way of the Cross," but I could be wrong), because they are super great!