Author's Note: This article, once I was reading it over, sounded like a "should do" article . . . Meaning it sounded like I was trying to tell you what to do. Please remember that what may seem like "orders" in this article are the foundation of the Catholic faith. Remember that "For The Catholics" is an educational article trying to teach Catholics, practicing Catholics, and people of other religions about us. Thank you!
The Stations of the Cross is a series of fifteen, or fourteen (optional), events that lead up to the Resurrection of the God-Man believed by the Catholics to be Jesus Christ.
Today during religion class, we read from paperback booklets the Stations of the Cross. During this time, Catholics remember Jesus' journey to Calvary, the hill where he was nailed to the cross. We focus our attention on the difficulties and struggles Jesus faced as he journeyed to the top of the hill. We ask our God for pardon of our sins (actions, words, or thoughts that lessen our friendship with God) and strength to carry on.
Well here are the Stations of the Cross. Many churches, like mine, have sculptures or pictures that depict the scene.
1. Jesus is condemned to die.
Reflection: There are many times teachers, parents, siblings, or another type of authority convict us of what we did not do. We should all remember to not hold grudges and to forgive those who may have been deceived into thinking it was you who preformed the disobedient action. It is believe by the Catholics that when Jesus was sentenced to death, many people accused him of charges that were untrue.
2. Jesus accepts his cross.
Reflection: In everyday life, crosses are not giant, wooden structures that people are nailed to. Crosses, in our days, are struggles and challenges. Who does not want life to go smoothly with out that cross blocking your path? Instead of complaining and judging, we must try to accept our crosses and bare them.
3. Jesus falls the first time.
Reflection: When Jesus fell the first time, it was sort of like building a model airplane. When you build model airplanes, it is very frustrating and it takes a lot of patience. Much of the time we do not finish that model airplane, but we should try to finish what we started.
4. Jesus meets his mother.
Reflection: Parents, or guardians, are one of the most important gifts no matter what religion you are. Your parents or guardians will always love you and treat you with care. There are no other human beings in your life that can love and care for you more than your parents or guardians. Despite your mistakes and accidents, your parents will always hold you with their unconditional love.
5. Simon accepts Jesus' cross.
Reflection: The soldiers taking Jesus to the hill saw that he was becoming weak, so they grabbed a random man, named Simon, out of the audience and had him carry Jesus' cross. We should all try to remember to help others in need and try to go out of our way to help someone who is in need. It does not have to be something extreme, just enough to make someone smile.
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
Reflection: In our current society, many people undergo peer pressure. We are sometimes oppressed under the rule of a "powerful" friend. Veronica believed in Jesus and that he was the Son of God. Being able to step out of the crowd and help someone who is being discriminated against is a truly courageous act.
7. Jesus falls the second time.
Reflection: Like I said before, crosses are very hard to bare when you are undergoing a lot of pressure. I do not mean physical pressure, but mental and emotional pressure. It is so easy to just give up and forget about what we started, but we need to finish what we started. We need to rise up and try again no matter what the situation is.
8. Jesus meets the women.
Reflection: Let us remember to always give comfort to the sorrowing. A bit of comfort never hurts anyone, and we should always try to remember the feelings of those around us.
9. Jesus falls the third time.
Reflection: The three falls of Jesus reminds me of the times I have fallen because of disobedience and carelessness. It reminds me of the mistakes I make. I fix them by, once again, carrying on. I try to succeed in everything I do and when I do not, I try again. I pick up my cross.
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments.
Reflection: Our body is a very private object. It is something that should be protected at all times. We should fight against harmful substances. We should try to always remember to keep our bodies clean and respect the body of everyone else.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Reflection: We, as humans, make the things that are least important the most important. We discriminate others by the color of skin, the way someone dresses, or the way a man speaks. We should try not to follow the bad example of the people who hurt others by what they think, do, and say.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
Reflection: As Catholics, this is a very important and spiritual part in our religion. We remember how Christ, our Lord, gave up himself. We usually honor this moment by spending some time in conversation with God.
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross.
Reflection: Jesus, at this time, is gently taken down from the cross. He is cleaned of his blood and sores. We are all sometimes so caught up in ourselves we forget about the others standing around. Also, we spend a lot of our time, once again, making the least important things in our lives the most important. Do we not talk bad about the person while they are alive, and then remember the good qualities when they are dead? We should compliment others while they are here, on Earth, so they are around to hear it. We should not waste a breath of air.
14. Jesus is placed in the tomb.
Reflection: As Catholics, we all know that Jesus will rise again in three days. In three days, it will be Easter Sunday. The day Jesus dies is called Good Friday.
The next station is optional in some churches. Some churches do not depict this station on the wall and end at station fourteen. I like to go to station fifteen, for it is the most joyful of all stations.
15. The Resurrection
Reflection: This is the foundation of Catholic faith! The resurrection of Jesus! This is what we believe: that the God-Man walked on this planet, he lived with us, he died, and was risen in three days. This is what we believe as Catholics and what we celebrate on Easter Sunday. The most traditional Easter game are Easter Egg Hunts. The egg is a symbol of new life. The new life represented by the egg is the new life believed to be lived by Jesus Christ. '
Those are the Catholic Stations of the Cross. During Lent, we reflect on the stations and we go into deeper meaning on what it means to be Catholic. In my class, we work to act like Veronica, Simon, and most importantly, Jesus during Lent.
This is dalygirl with another week of "For The Catholics".
"We live in preparation. We live for us. We live for each other. We live for God. This is the Catholic foundation."