Thursday 25 April 2019

Meditations on the Passion The Way of the Cross - Susanna Tamaro

Meditations on the Passion: The Way of the Cross
Susanna Tamaro
Scepter Publishers
eISBN 9781594172441

I picked up this book over a year ago and planned on using it during lent. But alas it slipped down in my reading list and then was forgotten. This year I was reminded of the book and planned to read and review it for lent as well. But it was not until Holy Week when I got around to reading it. I have several versions of the stations of the cross that I use throughout the year and return to again and again. And I have read other reflections that were read once and done. That will not be the case with this one. I see this as a mediation I will be returning to frequently.

The chapters in this book are:
Opening Prayer
First Station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death
Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross
Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First Time
Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother
Fifth Station: Jesus Is Helped by Simon of Cyrene to Carry the Cross
Sixth Station: Veronica Dries the Face of Jesus
Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time
Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for the Third Time
Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
Eleventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross and Given to His Mother
Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Deposited in the Sepulchre

I do not know who translated this book, there is no indication within the volume. It may have even been the author herself. But however, we received the English version of this book, it is a treasure. Tamaro has 33 books available in Italian and is best known as a novelist. Some of her works have been translated into numerous languages. And maybe it is what she brings from her background in film and as an author that helps bring this version of the way of the cross to life in such a vivid and moving way.

Archbishop Gianpaolo Crepaldi of Trieste states in the preface:

“I am particularly honored to write a brief preface to these meditations and prayers on the Way of the Cross, written with profound spiritual sensibility by Susanna Tamaro, to accompany those invited on Good Friday by the young people of Catholic Action to walk the streets of Trieste, Italy to their Cathedral. They will devoutly contemplate together the scandalous and revolutionary mystery of the death of God. But, with the Easter resurrection of the Lord—he who lives—death is defeated, and therefore life, suffering, and death are not rendered meaningless, but are completed and made full.”

And further on he says:

“Susanno Tamaro helps us to discover that the Way of the Cross is, in reality, the way of consolation. It is the way of love. It is the way of life; the road of consolation and of love, the road of life.”

And those statements echo what I felt while praying with this book. There is a deep love and reverence present. But also, a moving experience of this devotion and prayer. In this English edition we have the preface, and then the opening prayer, we move through the fourteen stations, ending with the benediction. The ‘Amen’. There are no explanations, no extra chapters from the author. Just the meditation. I love the stations of the cross with Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Saint Josemaria Escriva and ‘everyone’s way of the cross’ by Clarence Enzler. But this book by Dusanna Tamaro is now in my top 5 list for stations of the cross and will be used often. The only thing I really wished was that there was an audio version available that I could keep on my iPhone to pray with.

A wonderful version of this devotion, I am sure it will become an instant favorite! I am certain I will be using this version for years to come.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Susanna Tamaro:
Meditations on the Passion
Follow Your Heart
Answer Me
For Solo Voice
Listen to My Voice
Turning Home: A Memoir
The Tiger and the Acrobat

In Italian:
Meditaciones sobre la Pasión
Cuore di ciccia
Anima Mundi
Per sempre
Luisito: Una storia d'amore
Per voce sola
Il cerchio magico

Other Way of the Cross Reviews:
The Way of The Cross
The Way of The Cross II
The Way of the Cross – Saint Josemaria Escriva

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