Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Invitation to Pray the Stations of the Cross

Some of you may have devotions while some of you might ask, what the Stations of the Cross is.  This tradition can be traced from the contemplative life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux in 12th century and St Francis and St. Bonaventure of the Franciscans in the 13th century.   Although, the practice of pilgrims contemplating the way of the cross can be dated back in 2nd century and even in the early church in Jerusalem pondering on the painful journey of Jesus Christ towards his death in Mount Calvary.

What is the importance of the reflecting on something that is horrific and something that is painful?    Throughout the centuries, there had been a lot of things that happened to humankind that we as a humankind, would not have imagined doing again although some are still happening.  Reflecting on something horrific can make us angry about the event or even the people.  The good news about certain emotions is that it can move us into actions so that we want to stop things from ever happening again so that other people do not have to suffer the same fate.  

The greatest love of all had been given.  The greatest sacrifice of all had been offered.  The greatest mystery of life had been lived.  We asked ourselves what we have learned as a humankind so that suffering can be a history and that love is something that will persist in all cultures, traditions, and places?

We continue to reflect our own life and the lives of our brothers and sisters in the world during this Lenten season and why we are still commemorating this painful journey and redemptive sacrifice.   There are various ways you can offer the devotion of praying the Stations of the Cross to the many ways that our fellow human beings are still journeying with crosses towards their own "Mount Calvary".

Can we work on individual and systemic changes so that the suffering of the past can be a history?  Can we work on this transformation so that our labors and ideas are towards a more just and peaceful society.  We are hoping that there will be no more people who are forced to migrate due to economic hardships.  We are aware of the fact that some people are migrating due to violence, environmental and natural disasters.  We have exploited the forest causing indigenous people to be harmed and to be forced to vacate their spaces into a place where they can live and thrive using the natural resources they have been used to living for thousands of years.   People are affected by our lifestyle, consumption, and production that contributes to climate change.  Can we put a stop on our behavior that contributes to persistence of violence, climate change, and human trafficking negatively affecting the lives of those who are at the bottom of the society?

What about the people who are at the bottom of the society in terms of economic status?  What services have we allowed to them so that they too can be educated and be healed from violence, sexual abuse, social and economic injustices that they are experiencing every day because of their race and religion.  How are we making it possible that people who are abused are given justice by restoring their dignity through healthcare and social services?  How are we making it possible for people to feel protected by the very structure that are available in the society such as church, uniformed enforcement, military, government, non-government/non-profit institutions that are supposed to secure and safeguard their dignity and life?

As of this month of March, there 8 people for executions in death row with 1 in Texas, 2 in Ohio, 2 in Oklahoma, 2 in Missouri and one in Georgia.  Israel-Hamas-Gaza war is still going on since October reaching the death toll in Gaza to be 30,000.  United Nations reported more than 10,000 civilians have died from Russia-Ukraine war while several millions have fled from these two warring countries in search of safety and security.  According to, there has been 2.5 million migrants have been released and 2.8 million migrants have been deported.  Washington Post reported that there has been 2 million per year migrants crossing the border without documents every year since 2021.   New York Times reported 300,000 crossed the Southern Border in December last year.  Some of the causes for migrations are brought by environmental and natural disasters.  

During this time of lent, there are plenty of opportunities to pray and reflect as to what we are called to do.  Where is your heart resting?  Are you able to shed some light to some dark places in our world?  Are you able to carry some of the crosses in our world so that others can bear the weight of their heavy crosses or be forever relieved from the systemic crosses? 

Let us journey together during lent so that we can be in solidarity with those who are carrying the cross in the calvary and we can ponder on the actions that we are called individually and collectively. 

Some of the suggested Way of the Cross using the suffering of our time are below:

1. University of Incarnate Word's Mission and Ministry is hosting Stations of the Cross.  Please reach out to Dr. Arturo Chavez for more information at 210-259-1060 or 

2. Stations of the Cross to pray for the suffering ecology and the poor by Laudato Si Movement

With the suffering of Christ, the Laudato Si Movement reflect the suffering of the poor and the vulnerable and how through this way of the cross, we may be able to contemplate our ways so that we can be part of the solution so that our brothers and sisters can be redeemed from their crosses especially impacted by Climate Change.

Alternative Flipbook-based Stations of the Cross by the New York Chapter from the Global Catholic Movement: MNYCCM - Stations of the Cross 2024 (

Be blessed.

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