Contemplate on the Cross

Working as a Youth Minister and in Catholic Media, the Stations of the Cross has shaped my ministry. What began ten years ago as a youth ministry activity in need of a revitalization, has become a pillar and guidepost of my personal spirituality and public ministry. Thus the Stations of the Cross has been one of the favorite ways Patchwork Heart Ministry reaches out and touches hearts; presenting them in a dramatic stage production of Living Stations of the Cross, authoring two print editions of the Contemplative Stations of the Cross (2016 & 2018) and also an audio version featuring an overview of the theology, history and spirituality of the devotion by Fr. Bill Zimmer.

It almost goes without saying that the Stations of the Cross are a keystone of our ministry. Why? There are a few reasons. First, the passion, death and resurrection is what gives credibility to the claims of Christianity. If Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, didn’t sacrifice Himself for your sins, my sins and all of humanity’s sins on the cross then rise up and give us a path to heaven, He would be reduced to a wise teacher like Buddha. But Jesus isn’t just a wise teacher. He is the Son of God and by the Paschal Mystery Jesus isn’t just running his mouth off, He backs it up with the ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice He freely chose so that you might have the option of spending eternity with Him.

If the reputation of Christianity hinges upon the Paschal mystery, then it is our job as Christians to understand and reflect upon the most important tenet of our faith. A cursory glance at the Gospel once a year on Good Friday does not suffice. To deepen our awareness and understanding of the huge sacrifice Christ made for our salvation we need to stop and contemplate the mystery. It is here where Stations of the Cross can help.

The very nature of the Stations of the Cross bekon us to slow down and reflect. The church doesn’t refer to the Way of the Cross as a race to Calvary, instead it gives us fourteen stopping points to carefully and frequently ponder. As you think about each of these stations in detail, you begin to realize the magnitude of what Christ has done for you and the world. Simply, you can’t help but become more humble, forgiving, kind and compassionate if you dedicate yourself to praying the Stations.

This is the reason why we have made Stations of the Cross a cornerstone of our ministry. So take some time, and reflect this Lent upon the most important mystery of our faith. Go to the Stations of the Cross at your local parish or pray them at home with your family. Don’t be too busy for Jesus this Lent, He wasn’t too busy for you.


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