Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 3/22

The Stations of the Cross are a Lenten devotion whose roots go back to the fourth century when pilgrims to the Holy Land would trace the steps of Jesus from Pilate's house to Calvary.  Later, for those who could not travel to the Holy Land, images were erected both outdoors and in churches so that believers could make a virtual pilgrimage and pray their way with Jesus on his way to Calvary.

The are 14 "stations" in this devotion.  Of these, some are based in the scriptural accounts of Jesus' last hours and some are not.  For example, while 3 of stations recount Jesus falling under the weight of the Cross, there is no scriptural basis for his having fallen even once. Likewise, the scene of a woman named Veronica wiping the face of Jesus comes not from the bible but from a pious tradition.  
Now, however, there's an alternative.  On Good Friday 1991, Saint John Paul II introduced a new set of Stations - still 14 - but all of them based on scriptural accounts of Jesus' last hours as found in the gospels.

It's worth noting that the non-scriptural elements in the traditional Stations are not inconsistent with the gospel message and indeed describe events that might well have happened.  It's not implausible, for instance, to think that Jesus fell 3 or more times while carrying the Cross, even though these falls were not mentioned in the gospels.
For today's prayer, then, here are two videos: the first offers the older form of the Stations and the second the scripture-based devotion.  You'll find the first presentation very plain and simple, leaving most of the praying to you, the viewer. The second format leads you prayerfully through the scenes in the gospel that tell the story of Jesus' suffering and death.  I'm not recommending one over the other: both of them are rich sources for prayerfully reflecting on the Passion.  Perhaps between now and Good Friday (a week from today) you'll make some time to pray with both formats.

If two videos don't appear below, click here!
Stations of the Cross - by iChurch.org

Stations of the Cross: 





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