Lift High the Cross – and make the Stations

Watch videos on the Stations of the Cross on Eden Hill here.

By Chris Sparks

On Sept. 14, the Church marks the Feast of the Exaltation (“Triumph”) of the Holy Cross. It's a reminder that the Cross is the path of life after death, of joy through sorrow, of healing through suffering. We ask the help of Jesus to bear our crosses out of love for Him. We seek to console His Heart by accompanying Him spiritually in His times of trial.

The feast is a good reminder to make a Lenten devotion a year-round habit: making the Stations of the Cross. And the Stations of the Cross have a special place in the Divine Mercy message and devotion, one that most people overlook.

Our Lord spoke to St. Faustina of the extraordinary spiritual power that meditating on His Passion has. He promised:

There is more merit to one hour of meditation on My sorrowful Passion than there is to a whole year of flagellation that draws blood; the contemplation of My painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy (Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, 369).

One hour of meditation on Jesus’ sorrowful Passion: That’s a well-participated Mass, or the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and the Stations of the Cross. What an incredible promise of grace! And how easy it is to bring joy to Jesus!

A 3 o'clock request
Further, many people know that Jesus specifically asked for a particular devotion during the 3 o’clock Hour of Great Mercy, but most people mistakenly believe that devotion is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Actually, Jesus specifically asked of St. Faustina that she make the Stations of the Cross. Here’s the passage in question:

My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. I claim veneration for My mercy from every creature, but above all from you, since it is to you that I have given the most profound understanding of this mystery (Diary, 1572).

That’s why one of the most important places of prayer on Eden Hill are the life-size Stations of the Cross. 

Spiritual beauty
The work of internationally renowned sculptor Timothy Schmalz, creator of the sculpture “Angels Unawares” that stands in St. Peter’s Square, the bronze figures of the Stations have inspired deep prayer, great reverence, and a lot of comment ever since they were erected on the grounds of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I’ve heard stunned comments from family and friends who’ve visited, talking about how moving the Stations are, how beautiful, especially set against the natural beauty of Eden Hill, and more.

But their true value is in their spiritual beauty, in the mysteries from the life of Christ they represent, and for the work of conversion and sanctification they facilitate as pilgrims journey from station to station, keeping Jesus and Mary company in spirit during the climactic moments of Christ’s life on earth.

So when you come visit us at Eden Hill, make sure to take time to walk the Stations, to unite in prayer with Christ, our Head, whose suffering 2,000 years ago is an eternal touchstone for our salvation and sanctification. Keep Him and Our Lady company, consoling them in their time of greatest sorrow. And bring with you in spirit your family, friends, and enemies, as well as all the former Christians, the fallen Christians, and the many other brethren wandering astray in the modern world.

Bring all to Jesus in spirit with you so that in this world, they may all come to Jesus, as well.

Lift High the Cross!
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