Monday 12 June 2023

Pray the Stations - Basil R. Reuss O.Praem.

Pray the Stations
Basil R. Reuss O.Praem.
St Norbert Abbey Press

This stations is short and sweet. Each station including all prayers fits on a single page. I remember a different cover of this from when I was young. A priest on social media, Father Edward Looney, had shared photos as it was one version they have a parish set of and they were praying it during lent in 2023. He generously made a copy available for me. I could only find a few used copies of this online, but it is a wonderful version of this devotion. I was able to confirm that there were editions released in 1950, 1961, and 1962 and they are found in a couple catalogues for Catholic libraries. This edition has Nihil obstat, Imprimi potest, Imprimatur, which many modern editions do not have. The forward to the 1950 edition states:

“The catechism definition of "prayer" is clear: "to lift the mind and heart to God." The words uttered vocally are unimportant except insofar as they correspond to and describe what is actually taking place in the mind and the heart, or perhaps, incite the mind and heart. Our Lord condemned the Pharisees precisely because they did not comprehend this fundamental truth: "These men," He said, "honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me."

The traditional devotion of the Way of the Cross has been for centuries a powerful aid to real prayer: the imagination quickly and with ease recalls and pictures the scenes of His sacred passion, the mind reflects on the great truths of the Redemption of mankind, the heart is drawn to respond to His great love, and thus the human will is urged to demonstrate love and gratitude by concrete practice in the daily lives of those who generously and sincerely follow the "Stations."

The brief meditations which follow are suggestive - not definitive. The main thing is to put heart, mind and will into an earnest, honest, industrious effort to

A sample station is:

The Third Station:

(Priest) We adore Thee, 0 Christ, and we bless Thee.
(People) Because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

(Priest and People)
I see Jesus fall under the burden of His cross and remember that He is carrying "the weight of the sins of the world." I think now of how remiss and careless I have been in thoughtlessly falling again and again into sin as though it were of no consequence.

0 Lord, help me to remember always how terrible every sin really is. Grant me the grace to have a keen horror of all wrong-doing.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

(Priest) Lord Jesus Crucified!
(People) Have Mercy on us!

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.”

This volume has a Prayer before the Tabernacle at the ends of the 14 Stations, what some newer versions call a fifteenth station. It is:

“0 Lord Jesus, I thank Thee for the opportunity of praying these Stations. Help me to remember the inspirations which Thou has permitted me to experience. Let me live exemplifying the spirit and virtues of Thy Passion: in control of my tongue, in patience, mortification, self-discipline, unselfishly gentle and understanding. Keep me close to Thee!”

This is followed by an Afterward:

“Especially during the holy Lenten Season, generous souls may be anxious to "practice" some particular exercise of virtue. It is in order, therefore, to suggest methodical, systematic, concentrated effort to acquire the virtues of the
Passion: -

1st week - Patience and cheerfulness.
2nd week - Gentleness. Sympathetic understanding in dealing with others!
3rd week - Control of the tongue.
4th week - Detachment and unselfishness.
5th week - Humility. Resignation to God's Holy Will.
6th week - Mortification of the flesh - purity.”

This is followed by a few prayers:

O Saving Victim
Sing, My Tongue, The Savior’s Glory
The Divine Praises
Prayers to the Jesus Crucified (x3)

It finishes with a final concluding prayer. This is a great little version of this devotion. I am glad to know at least parish still has a set and uses them. I did not find any other books published by Reuss. If you can lay your hands on this it is a wonderful devotion.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

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

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