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Sunday, 27 March 2022

The Stations of the Cross In the Footsteps of The Passion - Catherine de Hueck Doherty

The Stations of the Cross: In the Footsteps of The Passion
ISBN 9780921440017
eISBN 9781897145395
ASIN B00K5ZHKZ8


This year during Lent I went searching for some new editions of Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross booklets in eBook format. This was one of three I picked up during the first week of Lent , and was the first I read and prayed on the Monday of the Second Week of Lent. It is one I will return to often. I spent a few days at Madonna House in the early 1990’s. I am familiar with her name but had yet to read anything by her. After reading this one I have already added three of her other books to my wish list, and easily could have added a dozen. This edition of the stations has both a Nihil Obstat, by Steven F. Ballard, J.C.L. and Imprimatur:
Richard W. Smith, S.T.D. Bishop of Pembroke, February 20, 2004. The eBook was released in 2012, the first printing was in 2004 on Ash Wednesday, and the book is listed as being in the third edition. The description of this volume is:

“Prayerful devotional meditations on The Way of the Cross. The Way of the Cross at Jerusalem, known as the Via Dolorosa or Via Crucis, marks Jesus path to his crucifixion. It has been the destination of pilgrims since the early days of the Church, and saints throughout the ages confirm that meditating on the Passion of the Christ is most fruitful. Fourteen significant moments along the way are marked by a "station," and meditating upon the stations enables you to make a pilgrimage to the moment of Jesus' Passion. Erecting stations in other places made the fulfillment of this devotion possible for those who could not travel to the Holy Land. One such Way of the Cross is located just outside Catherine Doherty's poustinia--her cabin, her desert. From the earliest days of her apostolic life, Catherine daily made this pilgrimage with Jesus Christ and his mother, walking with them, suffering with them, taking up the cross on the way to crucifixion and resurrection. Catherine's diaries, writings, and life brim with meditations, lessons, and insights gained from her spiritual pilgrimages to Golgotha. We offer to you some of these personal meditations from Catherine's heart during her pilgrimage along the Way, to guide you through your own pilgrimage to crucifixion and resurrection. This devotion begins with some of Catherine s meditations that you can pray to prepare your heart and focus your mind before you make your Way, or to deepen your resolve after making your Way. Each station includes Scripture reflections, a meditation and prayer from Catherine, and common public prayers--accompanied by the wood carvings of the Stations that appear in the Madonna House chapel in Combermere. (We have also included an English translation of the Stabat Mater; its verses can be sung between the stations.)"When it received the Lord of Life lifeless, dead, the tomb became a manger again, the birthplace of life. Its silence sang a requiem of alleluias. Its coldness became all flame and fire of joy--joy beyond desire. Jesus slept within the cradle of its depths the sleep of the One who conquered death. Alone the tomb became witness to the mystery of victory." -- from Station XIV”

And the sections in the book are:

Foreword
Front Pages
The Stations of the Cross
I Jesus is Condemned to Death
II Jesus Carries His Cross
III Jesus Falls the First Time
IV Jesus Meets His Mother
V Simon Carries the Cross
VI Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face
VII Jesus Falls the Second Time
VIII Jesus Consoles the Women
IX Jesus Falls the Third Time
X Jesus is Stripped
XI Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
XII Jesus Dies on the Cross
XIII Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
XIV Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
The Resurrection
Closing
At the Cross Her Station Keeping (Stabat Mater)
Other Books by Catherine Doherty

We are informed in the forward by the editors that:

“The Way of the Cross at Jerusalem, known as the Via Dolorosa or Via Crucis, marks Jesus’ path to his crucifixion. It has been the destination of pilgrims since the early days of the Church, and saints throughout the ages confirm that meditating on the Passion of Christ is most fruitful. Fourteen significant moments along the way are marked by a “station,” and meditating upon the stations enables you to make a pilgrimage to the moment of Jesus’ Passion. Erecting stations in other places made the fulfillment of this devotion possible for those who could not travel to the Holy Land.

A Way of the Cross is located just outside Catherine Doherty’s poustinia—her cabin, her desert. From the earliest days of her apostolic life, Catherine daily made this pilgrimage with Jesus Christ and his mother, walking with them, suffering with them, taking up the cross on the way to crucifixion and resurrection. Catherine’s diaries, writings, and life brim with meditations, lessons, and insights gained from her spiritual pilgrimages to Golgotha. 

We offer to you some of these personal meditations from Catherine’s heart during her pilgrimage along the Way, to guide you through your own pilgrimage to crucifixion and resurrection. This devotion begins with some of Catherine’s meditations that you can pray to prepare your heart and focus your mind before you make your Way, or to deepen your resolve after making your Way. Each station includes Scripture reflections, a meditation and prayer from Catherine, and common public prayers. (We have also included an English translation of the Stabat Mater; its verses can be sung between the stations.)

The plenary indulgence gained from visiting the actual locations of Christ’s Passion in Jerusalem can also be gained by making the Way of the Cross at blessed stations. Privately, you fulfill the Way by moving (unless physically impossible) without interruption from station to station. (Mass, Confession, or Communion is not considered an interruption.) In public devotions, you can gain the indulgence without moving if the leader proceeds from station to station.

There is no set formula for the Way of the Cross, except to walk from station to station. Make this devotion your own, take up the cross and follow Christ, and make his cross your own.”

I find next to the Rosary that the Stations are the most important devotion in my spiritual tool box. I try and pray them at least once a week through the year and I aim for daily during lent. And this one will become a mainstay. I cannot imagine having a stations right outside my door as Catherine had. But I can pray along to an audio version while out for a walk. Or in my prayer space at home. We are informed about the images in this volume that:

“The wood carvings of the stations pictured herein are from the Madonna House St. Mary’s chapel in Combermere, Ontario. They were hand-carved by an anonymous artist (“A.B.”) of Paris, France, and restored by Mark Schlingerman of Madonna House.”

A sample station is:

VI Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face


 “A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem... and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him... leaving him half dead.... A Samaritan traveller who came on him was moved with compassion.... He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them....” Jesus said, “Go, and do the same.”
Luke 10:29–37

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

The cloth was cool against his face, burnt with pain where blood mingled with dust—both kissed to fiery dryness by the noonday sun. The cloth was soft against his blotted, swollen, disfigured face.

Cooler than any linen cloth and softer than an angel’s wing was love that wiped his tortured face that day. Courageous, flaming love that spurned the angry crowd, the taunts, the unseemly jokes—a love springing from the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son—the love of Veronica, who came from nowhere and returned there, leaving to all of us a linen cloth with the imprint of his holy face.

Beloved, teach me to love always and everybody, and never to cease striving to love more. Help me, I who am so restless, volatile, changeable, sinful and weak, to absorb this. Integrate this understanding into my life so completely that I will be known as one of yours. 

Only strong love, courageous and pure, can approach the sin, the misery and pain that now covers the face of Christ hidden under the face of the world. Lord, let my soul, my heart, my mind, be the towel that does the wiping. Imprint on it indelibly your face. O Jesus, I love you; teach me to love you always.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.”

If you pick up a physical or electronic copy of this Stations I highly recommend you read the Forward and Front Pages, maybe even each time you work through the book. This is a wonderful Way of the Cross and one I can easily recommend for personal, group, or corporate use.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

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

Books by Catherine de Hueck Doherty:
Apostolic Farming
Beginning Again: Recovering Your Innocence through Confession
Bogoroditza: She Who Gave Birth to God
Dear Father
Dear Seminarian
Dearly Beloved: Letters to the Children of My Spirit (3 Vol.)
Donkey Bells: Advent and Christmas
Fragments of My Life
God in the Nitty-Gritty Life
Grace in Every Season
In the Footprints of Loneliness
In the Furnace of Doubts
Light in the Darkness
Living the Gospel Without Compromise
Molchanie: The Silence of God
Moments of Grace (perpetual calendar)
My Russian Yesterdays
Not Without Parables: Stories of Yesterday, Today and Eternity
On the Cross of Rejection
Our Lady’s Unknown Mysteries
People of the Towel and Water, The
Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer
Re-Entry Into Faith
Season of Mercy: Lent and Easter
Sobornost: Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul
Soul of My Soul: Coming to the Heart of Prayer
Strannik: The Call to the Pilgrimage of the Heart
Uródivoi: Holy Fools

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