We invite you to quiet yourself and enter into peaceful, prayerful state. Read Blessed Titus Brandsma’s reflection on Albert Servaes’ Seventh Station of the Cross. Brandsma’s sincere sorrow and love shine through these meditations, the portent of his own Christ-like passion and death at Dachau. Using the question(s) at the end of each reflection, Allow Titus’ words to inspire your own authentic prayer and meditation.
Well May the women who love you weep. You have picked yourself up again, and with a last exertion of strength, drag yourself to the place of the frightful crowning of your already such frightful torment. These are your last steps. The pallor of death already covers your features, and you would have been unrecognizable, did not your eyes still preach love. Those women heard in Jerusalem that you were being led to Calvary. They hoped to see you once more, to greet you a final time. Oh, all Jerusalem should’ve come to free you from the hands of the executioners, but as though deprived of its senses, it cried, “Let him be crucified!”
The cry of doom still resounded through the streets of Jerusalem and frightened the women. “It cannot be so,” they say. They hurry to the mount, following a trail of blood. Thus the women arrive on the mount even before him. Is that their Jesus? They cannot utter a single word. They weep. For it was, indeed, a sight fit for tears. The grief of Jesus strikes them speechless and brings tears to their eyes. Tears of genuine pity well up in their eyes, because Jesus, their benefactor, the beloved of their believing hearts, has been so cruelly mistreated in order shortly to undergo even more appalling mistreatment. Jesus sees their tears. Although himself, the prey of the most extreme grief, he wants to comfort those women who are weeping over him there, and to reward them with a last word, at the same time a lesson for us on the manner of following him on his way of the cross.
Up till now, my Jesus, I followed you like the women, with a feeling of horror and pity. Now you tell me how I must follow you: “do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Even though your suffering brings tears to my eyes, O good Jesus, I must acknowledge that it was my sins that caused you to be so cruelly mistreated and I must weep because I was the cause of your suffering.
O Jesus, let me weep for myself, for the dry would you deserve to be cast into the fire and consumed. But you wanted to atone for all my sins, give new life to the dry wood by grafting it on the wood of the cross. United with you, O Jesus, let me follow your way of the cross, repentant.
When was the last time you found yourself weeping? What was the cause of your sorrow?