O merciful Jesus! With a contrite heart and penitent spirit I undertake this devotion of The Way of the Cross in honor of Your bitter sufferings and death. I give humble thanks for the boundless love which impelled You to carry the cross for me, an unworthy sinner, and to die for my redemption. Make me worthy to gain all the spiritual benefits which are granted for this holy exercise. I offer them to You in satisfaction for my sins, for which I am heartily sorry, for the consolation of the souls in purgatory and for the grace to persevere in the pathways of virtue. Amen.
Act of Contrition...
The following is said before each station:
V. We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You. R. Because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world!
Pause briefly for silent reflection after reading the meditation on each station. Then the following prayers are said:
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be
This is followed by: "Lamb of God who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on me."
JESUS BEFORE PILATE
He was silent ...
Jesus, bleeding from head to foot offers Himself to His enemies to be led to the most terrible death for me. Think of the love He has for my soul! How much value do I place on my own soul? God thought it worthy of the redeeming death of Christ.
JESUS IS LADEN WITH THE CROSS
He was resigned ...
Jesus gladly accepts the cross to which His hands and feet will be nailed. Do I accept willingly my heaviest cross? What is it? My God, I touch my cross to Your cross. Help me to carry it patiently. I am mindful that if anyone will follow You, he must be a cross-bearer.
JESUS FALLS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE CROSS
JESUS MEETS HIS BLESSED MOTHER
He was exhausted ...
Jesus willed that His human nature should fall under the weight of His cross. He wished to teach me that without His help I shall fall into sin. My Jesus, give strength to my weakness and save me from again committing my predominant sin of
He was sorrowful ...
Mary had always been close to her Divine Son. After a brief separation she risks her life to be with Him again. How much do I inconvenience myself to go to confession and Holy Communion after days of separation from Jesus? These sacraments keep me close to God.
SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY HIS CROSS
He was grateful ...
Simon of Cyrene does his part to lessen the sufferings of Christ. Do I, by my good example and by prayer, try to prevent another from saying or doing the wrong which would add to the sorrows of the Sacred Heart? My Savior, give me the grace to do my tiny share in lightening the burden of Your heavy cross.
A HOLY WOMAN WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
He was compassionate ...
The woman whom we call Veronica fearlessly fought her way through the mob to the bleeding Savior in order to do Him service. What good turn do I do every day for Christ? Henceforth I shall be more thoughtful. I sow in this life; I reap in the next.
JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
He was destitute ...
Increasing weakness caused Jesus to fall the second time; but He also desires to teach me that I shall fall again and again unless I avoid temptation and seek strength in prayer and the sacraments. Although never tempted beyond my strength, I am a weakling without the support of God's grace.
JESUS CONSOLES THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM
He was sympathetic ...
How little Jesus thought of Himself in His sufferings! He is willing to endure agony without murmur if those for whom He suffers will only learn the lesson that their sins have caused that agony. He was bruised for our iniquities. He was wounded for our sins. What sin of mine has grieved Christ most?
JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
He was crushed ...
How many times have I taken resolutions to avoid my predominant sin, and to do some definite good work? How long have I kept my resolutions? Jesus falling for the third time, give me strength to rise above my weakness, and to walk with You until the end.
JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
He was lonely ...
Jesus atones, in this station, for our sins of immodesty. In what way do I offend most against modesty - by the eye, the ear, the tongue, by dress, by action? Jesus offers up His body to repair the insults these sins offer to His Father. My Savior, help me to be always on guard so that my heart and soul may remain fitting abodes for Your presence.
JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
He was slain ...
After a siege of the most terrible suffering, the Master is fastened by nails to His death-bed. Good Jesus, bless me with Your outstretched hands. Let but one drop of blood from Your wounded palms fall on my soul and cleanse it from every sin. Grant that my life hereafter may be free from the guilt of Your suffering.
JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
He was loyal ...
At the foot of Your cross, O dying Christ, I ask pardon for the part I have had in Your death. I am heartily sorry for all my sins. Be with me, Divine Redeemer, in my last moments. Forgive me as You forgave the penitent thief and receive my soul into paradise forever.
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
He was helpless ...
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, let me kneel with you beside the lifeless body of your beloved Son. Obtain for me the grace to be loyal to Him by walking in the way of His commandments. Obtain for me especially the grace to receive Him worthily in Holy Communion until I am united with Him and with you for all eternity.
JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB
He was at rest ...
Jesus taught me how to live and how to die. He reminds me now that if I stay close to Him in life and in death, I shall rise from the tomb as He did, glorious and immortal, and share the happiness of heaven with Him for all eternity. Grant me the grace, good master, so to live on earth that I may be worthy to share Your glory forever and ever.
Almighty and eternal God, merciful Father, who has given Your only-begotten Son to the human race as an example of humility, obedience and patience, and has ordained that He carry the cross and precede us on the way of life; grant, we beseech You, that inflamed by His infinite love we may take upon ourselves the sweet yoke of His gospel and the mortification of the cross, following Him as His true disciples, so that we may one day gloriously rise with Him in the blessed eternity of the kingdom of heaven.
One Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, according to the Holy Father's intention.