Monday 21 February 2022

The Stations of the Cross A Via Dolorosa - Father Marcus Holden - CTS Devotions

The Stations of the Cross: 
A Via Dolorosa
Father Marcus Holden
ISBN 9781784697396
eISBN 9781784696986
CTS Booklet D843

Over the last few years, I have read over 250 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I have been blessed, encouraged, and challenged by these wonderful resources for the Catholic Faith. This is the first I have read by Father Holden. I have picked up a few of his other offerings, I have one in eBook format that was towards the op of my reading list and 2 in physical form waiting for me to get around to them. But this one was of three new offerings from the CTS that released in January of 2022, and I picked them all up as soon as they were available. This was the third one that I read but I know I will return to it often, especially through Lent this year. The description of this booklet is:

“Millions of pilgrims from all over the world have flocked to the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. To walk the route where Our Lord carried the load of all the sins of the world offers much inspiration and provokes contemplation. It was walking the Via Dolorosa that inspired these meditations on the Stations of the Cross, each written where the original saving actions took place.

As you pray these short stations, be transported to the places where the meditations were written, to when the Way of the Cross was walked by Christ two thousand years ago. May this ancient devotion continue to be a source of deep conversion, renewal in the spiritual life, and a powerful means of interceding for others.

Written to be said congregationally and for private devotion, this booklet is illustrated with beautiful early twentieth century stations.”

About the photos in this Way we are informed that:

“The Stations of the Cross at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Balham, South West London, date from 1931. They were installed by the then Parish Priest, Canon William Thompson, who was Rector of Balham for more than forty years (1917 - 1963). Canon Thompson was known as a very spiritual man, who served for a long time as Chaplain to the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament. Each of these Stations of the Cross was paid for by a different family in the parish, no doubt many of them in memory of relatives who had died in the First World War – a plaque in the church porch records the large number of parishioners who died serving in the armed forces during that conflict.”

The chapters in this volume are:

Prayer before the Stations
The First Station - Jesus is condemned to death
The Second Station - Jesus receives the Cross
The Third Station - Jesus falls the first time
The Fourth Station - Jesus meets his Sorrowful Mother
The Fifth Station - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross
The Sixth Station - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
The Seventh Station - Jesus falls the second time
The Eighth Station - The Women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus
The Ninth Station - Jesus falls the third time
The Tenth Station - Jesus is stripped of his garments
The Eleventh Station - Jesus is nailed to the Cross
The Twelfth Station - Jesus dies on the Cross
The Thirteenth Station - Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the arms of his Mother Mary
The Fourteenth Station - Jesus is laid in the tomb
Prayer after the Stations

Father holden informs us in the introduction that:

“In 2017 while on a bible study sabbatical in the Holy Land I had the opportunity to live for a few weeks on the ‘Via Dolorosa’ in Jerusalem, literally next to where Pontius Pilate had his Pretorium. Living on the ‘Way of Cross’, and daily walking the route where Our Lord carried the load of all the sins of the world, was the inspiration for writing these Stations of the Cross. After some days in Jerusalem, putting my biblical studies aside, I began to spend more and more time at each traditional ‘station’ to ponder and pray. The text that follows is the fruit of those meditations, written where the original saving actions took place and where millions of pilgrims have prayed. My hope is that these short stations can be an aid for anyone, in any place, but especially around our churches, to follow the fourteen steps of the Redeemer, to feel with Jesus in his Passion and thereby to carry our own cross alongside him. May this ancient devotion continue to be a source of deep conversion, renewal in the spiritual life, and a powerful means of interceding for others.”

And it delivers on that. This is a wonderful new Stations of the Cross, or Way of the Cross for personal or corporate devotion. Each year I try and pick up a new Way of the Cross or 2 to pray during Lend. Over the last few years I have tried to pray the stations each day through lend and at least weekly through the rest of the church year. I have used many over the years. Some I only use once or twice, others I have prayed countless times. This one will be used often.

This is an excellent stations of the cross and I highly recommend it!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For all other reviews of Stations of the Cross click here.

Books by Father Marcus Holden:
Apologia - Catholic answers to today's Questions
Credo: The Catholic Faith Explained
Evangelium Participant's Book: Sharing the Riches of the Catholic Faith
Faith in the Family: A Handbook for Parents
Lumen: The Catholic Gift to Civilisation
Saints of the English Calendar
The Priesthood – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Other Stations of the Cross from the Catholic Truth Society:

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