Prayer Before the Way of the Cross

In profound humility I adore You, my Lord and my God.
I believe in You, I hope in You, and I love You above all things.
I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended You, great and lovable above all beings.
I will made this Way of the Cross for Your greater glory and for the salvation of souls.




 I 

 

FIRST STATION
Jesus Is Condemned To Death


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

REFLECTION: Our innocent Savior silently standing before His worldly judge. Pilate knows that Jesus is innocent and stands accused before him only because of the envy of some men. He tries to compromise with the truth. He seeks peace at the price of injustice. He finds only enduring wretchedness and anguish of the soul.

PRAYER: My innocent Jesus, often, rather than offend men, I have forsaken You. And yet, in spite of this, You have taken upon Yourself the sentence of death that You might be restored to life. My God and my Savior! As long as I try to please men I am in danger of forsaking You. Give me the grace and the courage to be willing to displease men -- even the entire world -- rather than to offend You.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 II 

 

SECOND STATION
Jesus Receives His Cross


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

REFLECTION: When Jesus sees the Holy Cross, willingly, eagerly He embraces it. For those who give it to Him, the Cross is an instrument of torture, but for Him it is an instrument of my salvation. It is by enduring the Cross that He is able at last, once and for all, to atone to His Heavenly Father for the sins of the centuries -- for my sins. O' Heart of Courage, Heart of Mercy!

PRAYER: O Jesus, through Your Cross You atoned for my sins and gained the graces necessary for my salvation. And it is by bearing my cross after You that I can best make sure that the sacrifices You made for me were not in vain. Whatever little worry, or trouble, or trial, or responsibility You will send me, I pray I shall bear each generously for love of You, Who bore Your Cross so generously for love of me.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 III 

 

THIRD STATION
Jesus Falls the First Time


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

REFLECTION: Although weakened by the loss of blood and brokenhearted because of my infidelities, Jesus strains to bear the heavy weight of my sins. But they are too much for Him! With His unaided human strength -- and unaided human strength is all He permits Himself to use -- He is simply unable to bear up under the oppressive burden. He stumbles and falls. But, impelled by love for me, He strains to rise again and carry on. However much I deserve to be forsaken, He will not forsake me.

PRAYER: My Jesus, if ever I should have the misfortune of falling into sin again, I shall take courage from Your example. I promise, with the help of Your grace to rise again and to follow faithfully Your footsteps -- even if they do lead to
Calvary.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 IV 

 

FOURTH STATION
Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother


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

REFLECTION: Imagine Mary, Mother of Sorrows, meeting her beloved Son carrying the Cross. Think of the deep sorrow that fills her heart. She wished to die either for Jesus or together with Him. But her cross was to live! It was by sharing so intimately in the Passion of her Divine Son that she brought me forth into supernatural life and merited to be called my mother. As a worthy child of so glorious a Mother, I must strive to share in her great and intense sorrow that I might not only console her, but also by suffering with her, learn to hate sin which caused her such great anguish.

PRAYER: O Mary, my Mother, by the merits of your intense grief, obtain for me the great grace of realizing that God chastises those He loves. Following your graceful example, let me be reconciled to the fact that suffering and sorrow and the Cross must be my lot in this valley of tears. In your motherly solicitude, strengthen me that I might bear my cross well, as He would have me.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 V 

 

FIFTH STATION
Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross


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

REFLECTION: Simon of
Cyrene is compelled to help Jesus carry the cross. How he recoiled at the embarrassment of helping a condemned criminal! How he preferred, as I often prefer, to carry the cross of his own choice instead of the cross Jesus would have him bear. Let me be ashamed that, like Simon, I so frequently carry the cross only on compulsion -- that I so reluctantly help Jesus bear the heavy burden of atonement for sins

PRAYER: My Jesus, whoever does not carry the Cross and follow You is not worthy of You. I will help You carry the cross; I will be Your companion. Do help me realize, as Saint Paul realized, the great privilege I have in being able to make up in my body what is lacking in Your sufferings for the salvation of souls -- that I am able, by carrying the cross for You, to share in Your work of saving souls.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 VI 

 

SIXTH STATION
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus


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

REFLECTION: Veronica, out of devotion and compassion for Jesus, approaches Him and wipes His blood-stained countenance with a cloth. Brave woman! Long ago she had learned the vanity of human praise and emptiness of human contempt. Scorning the jeering multitude, she befriends the friendless Jesus and offers Him her comfort and sympathy. Jesus imprints on her veil the image of His Holy Face. A little service brings a great reward. God will not be outdone in generosity.

PRAYER: O Jesus, grant me the courage to befriend You in the company of the scornful. Let me learn from those who ridiculed and condemned You the insignificance of human contempt. Give me the courage to stand alone, if need be, in witness to what is true and in defense of what is right. Let me fear only Your adverse judgment. Behold I offer you my heart; seal it as Your very own. Imprint upon it the image of Your countenance, and may that image never be effaced therefrom.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 VII 

 

SEVENTH STATION
Jesus Falls the Second Time


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

REFLECTION: Again, weakened by suffering and overcome by fatigue, Jesus falls. Though utterly exhausted, He will not give up. He will not surrender to death until atonement is made and my salvation is accomplished.

PRAYER: O Jesus, help me bear with perseverance and ever greater generosity the cross of fidelity to Your commandments and of docility to Your inspirations. But if I should ever again have the misfortune of sinning, let me, encouraged by the example of Your zeal to atone have the honesty to acknowledge my guilt, the humility to confess my failure, the courage to atone for my sin, and the strength to rise again.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 VIII 

 

EIGHTH STATION
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem


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

REFLECTION: The pious women of
Jerusalem weep for our suffering Savior. He turns to them and says, Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Compassion is good and we should be compassionate, but He wishes us to understand that it is better to be sorry for our sins. He also wants us to realize that we, too, might be asked to bear such sufferings as His. We must be prepared for it.

PRAYER: O Jesus, grant me, like the women of
Jerusalem, a compassionate heart, a heart ever sensitive to the sufferings of others and ever eager to help them in their trials. Grant me especially a heart acutely sensitive to the malice of sin. But also, dear Lord, help me to realize that I, like You, may be required to bear my cross down the gauntlet of ridicule and scorn. Please strengthen me for any trials You have in store for me.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 IX 

 

NINETH STATION
Jesus Falls the Third Time


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

REFLECTION: As Jesus approaches
Calvary, He falls again, the third time. I must realize how very real was the suffering, the heartache, the fatigue of my beloved Savior; and therefore, how great and how genuine was His love for me in bearing the cross. From this third fall I must realize especially that, regardless of how many times I fall, I must acknowledge my failure, repent my fault, and rise again.

PRAYER: O Jesus, grant me the grace of immunity from despair. Imprint indelibly on my soul the realization of Your great love for me and of Your infinite patience and forgiveness. Instill in me a firm determination never to allow unrepented sins to keep me from You. Make me firm in my resolve ever to be honest in admitting my guilt; make me ever ready to endure any embarrassment, to tolerate any consequences, rather than fail to confess and atone for my sins.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 X 

 

TENTH STATION
Jesus is Stripped of His Garments


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

REFLECTION: Behold our Blessed Savior as He is stripped of His garments. Even in His Sacred Passion He teaches me detachment from things of this world. He divests Himself of the last vestiges of the things of this world, His own garments. He reminds me that in my final agony, I must relinquish all, that nothing on earth can serve as my support. Riches, honors and reputation are of no avail. Even friends must pass me by, helpless to come to my aid. I must, therefore, seek above all, the
kingdom of God and His friendship. With these I am rich and secure; with anything else -- with everything else -- I am poor and wretched

PRAYER: O Jesus, let me, like You, be detached from the things of this world. Help me to realize that things of this earth can never bring me final happiness, nor ever support me in my critical trials. Grant me the grace to see that attachment of things that cannot bring happiness is not wisdom -- that dependence on things that cannot save is folly. Grant me the grace of being poor in spirit; that I might have one consuming ambition: to amass merit in Heaven; and that I might have one consuming passion: to do always You Holy Will.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 XI 

 

ELEVENTH STATION
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross


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

REFLECTION: Our Divine Savior suffers the pain of being nailed to the cross. By His anguish He atones for our sins of sensuality. Hear the dull thud of the hammer. Feel the piercing pain as each blow strikes. How intolerable is the aching agony that follows as each hand and each foot is fastened to the cross. Reflect on the fact that this is my Savior; and that He endures all this for my sins of self-indulgence. By His anguish He atones for my repeated folly of seeking happiness where it cannot be found -- in forbidden pleasures of sense.

PRAYER: O Jesus, my Savior, by the merits You gained for me by Your Sacred Passion, grant me an abiding realization that genuine happiness does not consist in pleasures of sense. Make me vigilant in guarding against the approaches of sin, whether its attraction springs from the lure of passion or a deceit of Satan. Make me prompt and generous in my determination to resist all temptations

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 XII 

 

TWELVTH STATION
Jesus Dies on the Cross


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

REFLECTION: Contemplate our divine Savior as He hangs for three agonizing hours upon the cross. This is He in whom the Father is well pleased. And yet how abandoned, how forsaken is He. He is paying the price of sin -- rejection by God. His whole body is recked with pain. His sacred features are distorted with anguish. He is overwhelmed with weakness. His Sacred Heart is utterly broken with grief. With His own unaided human powers, He forces Himself to bear the agony of approaching death -- and thus without consolation, with nothing but loneliness as His companion. Finally, obedient unto death, when His Heavenly Father would have Him do so, He dismisses His weary Soul. He dies that I might have life

PRAYER: O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded that I might be healed, even today You still make of Yourself a victim of Love upon our altars. What do You desire and what do You seek but victims to continue in them Your sacrifice? Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, accept my sacrifices in atonement for sin and for the salvation of souls.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 XIII 

 

THIRTEENTH STATION
Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross


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

REFLECTION: Only after He is dead does our Divine Savior condescend to come down from the cross. He wished to give me an example and to teach me a lesson. Although desolation still envelops the land, although failure seems to fill the air, His life has been a tremendous success. Things are not what they seem. With God failures are often successes; and successes, failures. The folly of fidelity to God is the highest wisdom. His Passion is over; mine is yet to be endured. He wants me to realize that although God may at times appear to abandon me, He does not. Although my cross may at times seem unbearable, it is not. Although all may at times seem to be lost, the victory is really already won. He won it. My only possible failure is to fail to persevere in bearing my cross as He would have me bear it.

PRAYER: O Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, teach me to follow your example of fidelity and fortitude. As you mothered me, giving me life, as you have so solicitously cared for me throughout all the days of my life, do now in your motherly solicitude continue to care for me. Teach me to bear my cross generously as a child of yours should; and so comfort and strengthen me in the hours of my greatest trials, especially at the hour of my death.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 






 XIV 

 

FOURTEENTH STATION
Jesus is laid in the Sepulcher


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

REFLECTION: Contemplate our Divine Savior as He is laid in the sepulcher. How proper it was that He should have so suffered and thus should have entered into His glory. And how proper it is, if I am to reign with Him, that I too should follow His bloody footsteps -- that my entire life should be a life of atonement for sin and pleas for grace -- that I should make up in my body for the sufferings that are wanting to His for the salvation of souls!

PRAYER: O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You King of the Universe. All that has been created has been made for You. Exercise upon me all Your rights. I renew my baptismal promises renouncing Satan and all his works and pomps. I promise to live a good Christian life and to do all in my power to procure the triumph of the rights of God and Your church. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor actions in order to obtain that all hearts may acknowledge Your Sacred Royalty and that thus the reign of Your peace may be established throughout the universe.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.Amen
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be...

 

 

 

 

Closing Prayer

Look down with favor, O Lord, we beseech You, on this, Your assembly,
for which Our Lord Jesus Christ did not hesitate to be delivered
to the hands of wicked men and suffer the torment of the cross;
Who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.