Short Way of the Cross

VADEMECUM, Collection of Prayers of Divine Word Missionaries

(Opening hymn)

Lord, grant me your Spirit to understand the meaning of your passion and the depth of your love in dying for me. Teach me to die to my passions and wayward inclinations and live with you for God.

In union with the Virgin Mother, let me retrace your steps on the way to Golgotha, and by her intercession win the grace of closer conformity to your will.

First Station:
Jesus is condemned to death

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

(Genuflect or bow)

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. The giver of life is sentenced to die, to die like a criminal, on a cross. It was the most unjust judgment of all times. Yet, at Gethsemane, Jesus had made up his mind. He accepted the sentence with equanimity. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Grant me the grace to face things squarely. Let me tremble only at the sight of spiritual and eternal death.

(Hail Mary, optional).

Second Station: Jesus carries the cross

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. A cross was placed on your shoulders, an ugly, heavy cross. But you accepted it without complaint, out of love for us. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Let me carry my cross willingly and joyfully. When I find it heavy, let me remember how you carried your cross for love of me.

Third Station: Jesus falls the first time

L. We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. The cross was too heavy. You collapsed under its weight. But then you stood up, picked up your cross, and went on. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. When I fall, make me humble enough to acknowledge my failure, and strong enough to pick up my cross once more, and to go on.

Fourth Station: Jesus meets his Mother

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. What a place for Mother and Son to meet! Both knew it was on the way to agonizing death. And yet, what peace of mind, what resignation to God’s will! (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Wherever I am, make me an instrument of peace, and instrument of unity and love.

Fifth Station:
Simon helps Jesus to carry the cross

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. You were weak, and could not carry the cross. When help was offered, you humbly accepted it with gratitude. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Help me get rid of stupid pride which makes me unwilling to accept from others the help I need.

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. A spontaneous act of kindness shown to you is met with a sign of appreciation and gratitude. And in return, you imprint your holy features deep in her heart. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Grant me never to forget to be grateful for the favors shown me. Just a smile or a “thank you” is often sufficient.

Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. You fall again on the dusty, dirty road. Like the first time, you quietly stand up and continue on.(pause)

L. Lord,

A. Let me never blame others for my mistakes and failures, but humbly admit my shortcomings, help me to carry my cross daily with renewed strength.

Eighth Station:
Jesus meets the holy women

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. Thosearethefriendswhocaredforyourtemporal needs, and they are loyal to the end. In your greatest sorrow you always have a word for others.(pause)

L. Lord,

A. You told us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. May I learn to forget myself and think of the needs of others!

Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. Once more you are on the hard ground, and no pity is shown you. Yet, you remember that millions of others depend on you to go on; and you rise and go on. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. When I am discouraged and feel like saying: ‘What’s the use’?, remind me to ask myself: what would have happened to me if Jesus had said: What’s the use!

Tenth Station:
Jesus is stripped of his garments

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. They make you stand there, stripped, in shame, and dishonored. And you, God’s sacrificial lamb, offered your shame for me who so shamelessly offend you by sin. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Help me strip myself of anything that makes me look more like one of this world than a child of God.

Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. Big,uglynailswentthroughyourhandsandfeet. But on your lips were only words of forgiveness. What an example you give me, my Savior! (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Make me understand how dear to your Father is reconciliation, and grant that I really mean it when I say: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. The supreme act of love: to die for sinners when they were still your enemies. And we are those sinners. It was your Father’s will and you accepted it, willingly, generously, joyfully. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Teach me the value of suffering out of love: from suffering comes joy, from self-denial, happiness and peace; from death, life.

Thirteenth Station:
Jesus is taken down from the cross

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. You allowed yourself to be placed wherever it pleased your friends to lay you. How often I am unwilling to come down from the throne I have built for myself; thinking myself more dedicated, more intelligent than others. (pause)

L. Lord,

A. Let me be willing to be at the disposal of others, and to cooperate with their wishes. For it is you who are training me and perfecting me through them.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the sepulcher

L. We adore you. O Christ, and we praise you.

A. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

L. Likethegoodseed,youwereplacedintheground, and you produced abundant fruit: Resurrection and life for you and for us. Death is not the end of everything but merely the passage to real life.(pause)

L. Lord,

A. Teach me to bury my past life in the grave with you, and let me rise to the newness of the Christ life, to live henceforth for the glory of your Heavenly Father.

Concluding Prayer

L. Lord, we have followed you on the way of the cross, in union with your beloved Mother. May she stand by us in every trial, especially at the hour of our death.

A. By her holy intercession, grant us renewal in the Spirit, so that from now on we may be motivated only by love of God that manifests itself in good deeds to our fellow men and women. Amen.

L. For the intentions of the Holy Father: (one Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be).

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