Posted March 30, 2003
Book: The New Stations of the Cross: The Way of the Cross According to Scripture
Author: Megan McKenna
Doubleday, New York, pp. 121
Excerpt from Jacket:
One of today's most popular and respected Catholic writers presents the first guide to the new Stations of the Cross, reflecting the revisions made by Pope John Paul II.
A traditional devotion for Catholics for more than four hundred years, the Stations of the Cross commemorate the route Jesus traveled from being sentenced to death, to his crucifixion, to his burial in a borrowed tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem. In the past, the devotion included a number of stations based on popular stories of piety and devotion, but not mentioned in the Gospels. Over the past eight years, however, Pope John Paul II has made substantial changes to the devotion in his Good Friday celebration of the stations, removing those not found in the Bible and replacing them with stations that more accurately follow scriptural accounts of Christ's passion.
The revised Stations of the Cross focus on the condemned Jesus and on the community walking the way with him to the cross. Unrelieved by stories like Veronica's wiping blood off the face of Jesus and his meeting with his mother, this is the story of an execution. The new stations deal directly with the pain, suffering, betrayal, and injustice to which Jesus was subjected.
Excerpt from Book:
Jesus enters the garden deliberately, in preparation, intending to face his fears by facing his God, his Father. His greatest fear is to offend his Father, to disobey his own calling, his integrity, and the word of God in his life. This is the prayer of hope and desperation, of acceptance and commitment, the cry for strength and endurance, the prayer that he might live, and if he must die, to die with hope, with steadfast belief in his Father, and if need be, without consolation. He prays to be faithful to what God wants, and exhorts his followers, already caught in the grip of grief and fear that grows palatable, to pray with him and to pray for themselves in this time of darkness.
. . . . Our history tells us of those who walked this way, struggling as Jesus did, seeking life in the face of death. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in one of his journals while he was in prison, "Once Jesus bids you come and follow him, he bids you come and die. "He sought to express his knowledge born of prayer in the face of fear, this way.
"There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. It can never be safe. Peace s the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to mistrust, and this mistrust in turn brings forth war. Peace means to give oneself altogether to the law of God, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won where the way leads to the cross."
Table of Contents:
First Station: Jesus prays in the Garden of Olives
Second Station: Jesus is betrayed by Judas
Third Station: Jesus is condemned to death by the Sanhedrin
Fourth Station: Jesus is denied by Peter
Fifth Station: Jesus is judged by Pilate
Sixth Station: Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
Seventh Station: Jesus carries his cross
Eight Station: Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene
Ninth Station: Jesus encounters the women of Jerusalem
Tenth Station: Jesus is cruicified
Eleventh Station: Jesus promises to share his reign with the good thief
Twelfth Station: Jesus is on the cross, with his mother and disciples below
Thirteenth Station: Jesus dies on the cross
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is placed in the tomb
Fifteenth Station: Holy Saturday and Easter resurrection