When I was in elementary school, every Friday during Lent the whole school would go over to the parish church for Stations of the Cross. I have to say it was not a favorite devotion. By Friday afternoon, all most of us kids wanted to do was go home and have a fun weekend. Instead, we crowded into church, youngest to oldest, and watched as the priest and the altar servers walked from station to station, while we stood, knelt, sang, and responded to prayers at the appropriate times.
As I got older I began to experience the Stations of the Cross in a deeper way. Little by little it became a contemplative prayer experience~a way to get out of my head and use my imagination to enter into the last hours of the life of Jesus on earth. Praying the Stations is one way to enter into the mystery of the unconditional love of Jesus and his solidarity with our human experience. For me, the Stations of the Cross are an invitation to grow in solidarity with all who suffer today in body, mind, and spirit. In turn, my prayer becomes broader, deeper, and more catholic with a small “c” [universal].
The Stations of the Cross can be prayed at any time, but they’re particularly appropriate during Lent. They can be prayed together with others or as a personal devotion. If you’re unsure how to pray the Stations of the Cross, click here for a good article that will help you. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to pray the Stations with a parish community, there are online versions designed to pray on your own. Click here for two different suggestions. Our foundress Saint Angela Merici had a deep devotion to the Passion. She often referred to her companions and future daughters as “My very dear daughters and sisters in the Blood of Christ.” Click here for a version of the Stations of the Cross using writings from St. Angela. If you know of other Lenten resources to share, be sure to put them in a comment. And meanwhile, let’s continue to hold one another in prayer. A blessed Lent to all our Backlit readers!