Saturday 3 June 2023

Praying the Stations with Saint John XXIII - Bill Huebsch

Praying the Stations with Saint John XXIII
Bill Huebsch
ISBN 9781627850049 

This is the second of the Stations of the Cross I have read from Twenty-Third Publications, I really loved Praying the Stations Mary’s Way of the Cross, by Richard G. Furey CSsR and picked up several others in this series. I enjoyed this one but did not agree with all of Huebsch’s extrapolations of Saint John XXIII’s thought, I have read much by and about the good pope John and find some of the reflections circumspect. I would rather that Bill had drawn from John’s own writings instead of his interpretations of them for the reflections. I have already picked 6 other volumes in the series including 1 other by Bill Huebsch. This was an ok stations but not one I am likely to return to.

This volume starts with a 2 page introduction and ends with a 1 page “A Final Moment with Saint John XXIII”. Each station is a two facing pages spread. With my dual form of dyslexia I struggled with the font and layout. Particularly the italics used for headings. If there was an eBook edition I could change the font, font and page colour to make it easier to read and more accessable.

Sample Station for this edition:

The Third Station
Announcement of the Station

Leader The Third Station: Jesus falls the first time

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

Leader Jesus, you stood before the Sanhedrin, a council of your own people, and faced their terrible judgment. They saw you, but rejected your word of love and your lifestyle of repentance and faith. They did not believe in your healing and teaching power. And they did not see in your face the very face of God. As you walked those first steps on the road to Calvary, this first fall did not change your loving heart or reduce your commitment to your mission. May we ourselves, here and now, show the same resolve when we stumble. May we see the face of God in the faces of all around us, even those we find it most difficult to love.

Response (Psalm 36:1–4)
All The God-rebel tunes in to sedition—
all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself into believing
That his evil will never be noticed.
Words gutter from his mouth, dishwater dirty.
Can’t remember when he did anything decent.
Every time he goes to bed,
he fathers another evil plot.
When he’s loose on the streets, nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.

Leader It was one of Pope John’s dreams that Vatican II would open the windows and the doors of the Church again. For many centuries, the Church’s doors had been closed and the leaders of the Church had been in the business of judging others, of deciding who was worthy to receive God’s love and who was not. Like Jesus had been, many people were judged harshly during those years. Pope John trusted that, with the help of Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Church would not stumble and fall but be made stronger—as Christ was on his way to Calvary. Today the Church sees itself as a loving sign of the reign of God on earth. God, we know, loves all without distinction. As such, the Church now embraces all who come to join in the banquet.

A momentary, sacred pause…

Leader Help us when we stumble and fall, Jesus, Lord of life and love. When the inevitable happens and we commit that old sin again, or when we see a chance to love and reject it, or when we treat others harshly on purpose, stand beside us with your loving forgiveness, and help us get up and get back on the road to you. Amen.”

The grade school I attended was Pope John XXIII and is now Saint John XXII, I have had a devotion to this saint from a fairly young age. I can state I was disappointed with this volume. But I am impressed with the series and will give others in the series a try. This was an ok stations of the cross. It was not great but also not terrible. I have a few stations I return to again and again. I am always willing to give another version of this devotion a try. I wish the other in the series were available digitally. With my dual form of dyslexia I greatly prefer eBooks so I can change the font, font and page colour to make reading easier. I will read and review the others from the series I have tracked down and try to find the reaming few of the other volumes in the ‘Praying The Stations Series’ from Twenty-Third Publications. I try and pray a stations each Friday throughout the year, and every day during Lent. But as mentioned I will not likely return to this one.

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.

Books in the Praying The Stations Series:
Praying the Stations with Seniors
The Mystery of the Cross
Praying the Stations of Mercy with Pope Francis
Praying the Stations with Pope Francis
Praying the Stations with Saint John xxiii
Praying the Stations with Catechists
Praying the Stations with Children
Praying the Stations for Healing
Praying the Stations with John Paul II
Praying the Stations for the Suffering, Ill, and Disabled
Meditando El Via Crucis El Viacrucis de Maria
Praying the Stations with Teenagers
Praying the Stations Today’s Disciples

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