Monday 24 April 2023

The Stations of the Cross - Vincent Sherlock

The Stations of the Cross
ISBN 9781910248577
eISBN 9781788122405

This is the eleventh book published by Messenger Publications that I have read in as the last few years. This was the second volume I have read by Vincent Sherlock. I have also read his volume Telling the Rosary, which I enjoyed. This was one of several Stations I did for the first time in 2023. Some much older like a couple from Fulton Sheen that we published nearly a century ago, and this one was published just 5 years ago. This edition has a length introduction and then the 14 stations it does not have the more recent 15th Station, or a concluding prayer. 

The description of this booklet is:

“The text is complemented by beautiful reproductions of the Belvedere College stained glass Stations by artist Harry Clarke. This is a booklet which will both challenge and inspire you in your worship.” 

The chapters in this volume are:

The Camino of the Cross: Calvary Way
Walk The Way Of The Cross With The Woman Found Committing Adultery
Gospel Passage (John 8:1-11)
The Response
Stations 1-14

In the introduction Vincent states:

“A well-accepted method of praying on the mysteries of the life of Christ has been with the imagination. This was popularised in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. Staying close to the scripture meaning, we imaginatively pray on the life of Jesus and maybe other mysteries encased within it. In making the Stations of the Cross we might put ourselves into the mind of those who watched or followed Jesus on his way. In this book, we follow with the woman who was found in adultery, imagining her watching Jesus on the way to Calvary.

This is a way of entering into the mystery of the event; while it may not be historical (though she could have been there, living in Jerusalem), it is faithful to the meaning of the event, and to the people we call on in imagination. It also engages us powerfully in the mystery of Christ’s life that we contemplate.”

A sample station is:

IX A Third Fall for Jesus

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world. 

Simon said this one was down to him. He lost his footing and as he fell he pushed Jesus to the ground. He said he felt badly about this but wondered if maybe it was a reminder that when a man falls he brings others with him. It was to be the final fall on the way, but led to the refinding of feet, and to facing the road that was necessary on that Friday. Jesus, Simon recalls, ‘Looked back at me and sort of nodded. It’s as if he was saying, “I’m with you always Simon – I know you didn’t mean to fall or bring me down. We can, we will, we must get up again.”’

The name of God is Mercy”

This Stations is short and sweet. Of all the versions of the Stations I have and use regularly this is the second shortest. That being said it is still a great stations. I have some versions that it takes a few hours to read the long reflections. This one is excellent for days when you are pressed for time and want to still complete this devotion. It is one I can see myself using often. Sherlock has also written a volume called, Celebrating Holy Week, that I have picked up to use this year. I try and pray a Stations of the Cross each Friday throughout the year, and one each day during Lent. This is a great addition to my collection. 

I can easily recommend this station for personal or family use. I was blessed for the reading and praying through it and I am certain you will be as well.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 202 Catholic Reading Plan! For all review of Messenger Publications books and booklets click here

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

Books by Vincent Sherlock:
Let Advent be Advent
The Enchanted Way: Reflections on the Way of the Cross

No comments: