Saturday 2 April 2022

Way of the Cross with Pope Benedict XVI - Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun - CTS Devotions

Way of the Cross with Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun
ISBN 9781860825712
ISBN 1860825710
CTS Booklet D701

Each year I pick up a couple of new versions of The Way of the Cross or the Stations of the Cross. This year I tracked down a few older out of print editions by Pope Benedict XVI. This one is from the Colosseum Good Friday in 2008. Between eBooks, physical books and audio editions I now have over 40 different versions. I have a few from Pope Benedict, and appreciate each of them. This one was new to me this year, even though it was published in 2008. It is one of a few older editions from the Catholic Truth Society by Pope Benedict that I am trying to track down. I have fallen in love with the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I have read over 275 in the last 5 years and have nearly that many on my wish list. This specific book is out of print, and there is no digital edition available. 

It took me a while to track this one down, it was well worth it. I tracked this one this year during Lent this year to pray it. Each year I pick a few versions to pray during Lent. I attempt or plan to pray a Stations each day during Lent, and on Fridays throughout the rest of the year. This one will is an excellent option.

The description of this volume is:

“Each year the Holy Father goes to the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday, to mediate on the final events of Jesus’ life. In 2008 Cardinal Zen Ze-Hiun of the persecuted Church in China was invited to write the meditations and prayers for the fourteen stations. The resulting text are a wonderful encouragement for Christians all over the world whether they are suffering persecution or simply the everyday problems of life.

“Let us sing and pray to Jesus and with Jesus for those who suffer on account of his Name and for ourselves, who are sinners and at times also his persecutors.””

This was an excellent version to pray in 2022, with the war going on in the Ukraine, the persecution of Catholic and others in China, and 2 years of lockdowns, mandates and vaccines. I wish this version was still in print or available as an eBook because I would buy a slew to give away. The illustrations are wonderful they are from the 20th Century Society of the Divine Word Generalate Archives in Rome. When the booklet first arrived I flipped through fascinated with each of the 14 images. The first time I prayed through this version I pauses long at the beginning of each station and reflected on the image. Each station follows the following format:

Station Number
Name of Station
Bible verse
Our Father
Stabat Mater

There is a two page introduction and 3 page conclusion to these stations. I highlighted the first paragraph of each of those sections. They are:

“… Clearly, the central figure in this Via Dolorosa is Our Lord Jesus Christ, as he is presented to us by the Gospels and the Church’s tradition. Yet begind him there are many people from the past and the present, including ourselves. In our prayer let us be mindful of the presence os so many brothers and sisters from times past. They, probably more than ourselves, experienced in their bodies the Passion of Jesus. In their flesh, Jesus was newly arrested, maligned, tortured, derided, dragged and crushed under the weight of the Cross, and nailed to that wood like a criminal.”


“This year we have also walked along the Way of the Cross, the Via Crucis, evoking again with faith the stages of Christ’s Passion. Our eyes have seen again the sufferings and anguish that our Redeemer had to bear in the hour of great sorrow, which marked the climax of his earthly mission.”

That after section from the pen of Pope Benedict XVI ends with:

“O Christ, crucified King, give us true knowledge of you, the joy for which we yearn, the love that fills our heart, thirsty for the infinite. This is our prayer for this evening, Jesus, Son of God, who died for us on the cross and was raised up on the third day. Amen.”

And that should be our prayer each day, and especially each time we journey along with Jesus through the 14 stations. This is an excellent edition for both personal and corporate use. If it was still in print I would pick up a set for my parish, like one of the others by Pope Benedict XVI I read this year. We have a few different sets that father uses on Friday’s through Lent, and this would be an excellent version to add. 

This is an excellent stations. Each station has a full page artwork, drawn from an archive and with a specific Oriental feel, each stations is 4 pages in the volume. I really benefited from this version of The Way of The Cross, it is another one I will use frequently going forward. It is an excellent devotion from the Catholic Truth Society. It is great for use during lent, or throughout the year. It is well worth tracking down. 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.

Other Stations of the Cross from the Catholic Truth Society:

Books by Benedict XVI:
The Way of the Cross - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI
Finding Life's Purpose: Inspiration for Young People
Don't Be Afraid To Be Saints - with Pope John Paul II
Confession Advice and Encouragement from Pope Benedict XVI 

From the Depths of Our Hearts - Pope Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah
Way of the Cross Meditations and Prayers
Way of Calvary: Stations of the Cross 
Spiritual Masters Fathers and Writers of the First Millennium 
Spiritual Masters Medieval Fathers and Writers

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