A Salesian Way of the Cross Based on the Writing of St. Francis de Sales Translated and somewhat amplified by The Most Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, O.S.F.S, Superior General of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales The “Way of the Cross” of suffering and affliction is a sure way, one which leads to God and to the perfection of his love if we are faithful. First Station — Jesus Is Condemned To Death The Cross is from God, but it is only “cross” if we do not join ourselves to it; for when we are strongly resolved to desire the cross which God gives to us then it is no longer a “cross” at all. If it is from God, why do we not desire it? Second Station — Jesus Is Given His Cross The Cross has been sanctified because it was the instrument which Jesus used for our Redemption. All Christians who aspire to heaven must take up the cross of the Lord and follow him. This will mean walking in his steps, imitating his virtues and having but one purpose and goal: his. Third Station — Jesus Falls The First Time Notice the infinite goodness of the Savior who wished to die the death of men and women so as to enable us to live according to the original expectation for Adam, that is, to live God’s life. But to better grasp the humility of Our Lord, listen to what St. Paul writes: “Though he was God’s Son, he emptied himself.” (Phil. 2:6-7 freely) O, God, but it is wondrous that the Eternal Word should empty himself and set aside his proper glory for his creatures who measure up so poorly to his love! Fourth Station — Jesus Meets His Mother The Mother of Christ seeks out her Son who is the life of her life. And why does she seek him out? To be ever near him, her Son and her God. Fifth Station — Simon Of Cyrene Helps Jesus The evangelists do not name the majority of people who figure in the Passion. But they do recall the name of Simon who helps our Lord carry his cross. The cross is the royal gate by which we enter the temple of holiness. Love this altogether precious cross; look upon it with eyes of love. Sixth Station — Veronica Cleanses The Face of Jesus I reflect upon the manner in which the Lord suffers. In his heart, he suffers willingly, with patience and love. The cross is a remedy capable of healing all our evils. Seventh Station — Jesus Falls The Second Time He suffers in order to witness to his love for us. O, how great is his love! Lord, I do not know if I have any love at all, but if I do, it is so little that it is content to shed a single tear; and it believes itself perfected when it utters a few sighs. And yet, O Good God, how much I insist and protest that I want to love you and give you my entire heart! Eighth Station — Jesus Meets The Women Of Jerusalem Christ has made it clear that he loves our tears when they are caused by love. If we have tears, let us cry them altogether simply, because we certainly could not have a more worthy subject over which to cry. Ninth Station — Jesus Falls The Third Time My iniquity is indeed great. O, Lord, who will deliver me from this labyrinth if not you? We would have reason to fear if we relied on our own strength. For he is for us. Tenth Station — Jesus Is Stripped Of His Clothing Christ stripped teaches us what we must do to please him: strip our hearts of all sorts of unworthy affections and pretenses, no longer loving them but desiring nothing other than him. Eleventh Station — Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross The Son of God is nailed to the Cross. What puts him there? Certainly it is love. Well, since it is certain that he died for us the least we ought to do for him is to live from love. He who wants to kiss Christ must mount his cross and be wounded by the thorns of his crown. Twelfth Station — Jesus Dies On The Cross Our Lord chose the death of the Cross to witness to his Love. There he offered himself in love, unto love, by love and of love. Thirteenth Station — Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross Love draws all the pains, torments, sufferings, sorrows, wounds, passion, Cross of our Lord into the heart of his holy Mother. The sword of death which cut through the body of this well-beloved Son also cut through the heart of this all loving Mother. Fourteenth Station — Jesus Is Placed In The Tomb Love and death co-penetrate one another in the Savior’s passion. We must die to every other love in order to live from Jesus’ love, so that we may not die eternally. Fifteenth Station — The Resurrection Of Jesus That we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we sing eternally, “Live, Jesus! Jesus is the one I love! Live, Jesus, you whom I love. I love Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.” Litany in Honor of the Holy Cross The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18) God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in heaven, but few who bear His Cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake.* R God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) Why do you fear to take up the Cross, which is the road to the Kingdom? In the Cross is salvation and life, protection against our enemies, infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind, joy of spirit, excellence of virtue, perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.* God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) Take up the Cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and go forward into eternal life. Christ has gone before you, bearing His Cross; He died for you on the Cross, that you also may bear your cross, and desire to die on the Cross with Him. For if you die with Him, you will also live with Him. And if you share his sufferings, you will also share His glory.* God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) See how in the Cross all things consist, and in dying on it all things depend. There is no other way to life and to true inner peace, than the way of the Cross. Go where you will, seek what you will; you will find no higher way above nor safer way below than the road of the Holy Cross.* God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.* God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14) All: Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us to follow you not only to the Breaking of Bread but also to the drinking of the Cup of Your Passion. Help us to love You for Your own sake and not for the sake of comfort for ourselves. Make us worthy to suffer for Your name, Jesus, our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen. Prayer before a Crucifix Behold, O Kind and most sweet Jesus, before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with the most fervent desire of soul, I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment. With deep affection and grief of soul, I ponder within myself, mentally contemplating Thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the Prophet spoke concerning Thee: “They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones.” The Cross Is The cross is the hope of Christians the cross is the resurrection of the dead the cross is the way of the lost the cross is the savior of the lost the cross is the staff of the lame the cross is the guide of the blind the cross is the strength of the weak the cross is the doctor of the sick the cross is the aim of the priests the cross is the hope of the hopeless the cross is the freedom of the slaves the cross is the power of the kings the cross is the water of the seeds the cross is the consolation of the bondsmen the cross is the source of those who seek water the cross is the cloth of the naked. We thank you, Father, for the cross. Amen.