We invite you to quiet yourself and enter into peaceful, prayerful state. Read Blessed Titus Brandsma’s reflection on Albert Servaes’ Fourth 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.
Did Mary have to see you in this state? Your mother, who more than anyone must’ve been pained at the sight of your suffering; whose heart a sword must have pierced, when she beheld you thus. Did this sorrow have to be added to the many nameless sorrows along this way?
Mary had to go to Jesus. Her mother’s heart gave her no rest until she witnessed what had happened to her Jesus; her Jesus, the most beautiful of men, in whose countenance one reads that higher being who had taken on human nature, now unrecognizable, deformed, broken, a ruin threatening to collapse; the man of sorrows, in whom there is no longer any beauty or splendor, counted among the greatest criminals, covered with blood and bruises, smeared with filth and spittle of the executioners.
The gospel here places no words in the mouth of your mother. Her grief strikes her dumb; and you too, my Jesus, speak not a word. You press your lips together in order to gather all your strength and not fall to the ground at the feet of your mother. But, oh, your eyes are fastened on each other, and your silence is eloquent.
O Mary let me see your Jesus with you, as a speechless witness to his grief.
O Jesus, come to meet me and let me behold you and all your frightful suffering. In the presence of the valiant mother, your mother, I will be able to see the suffering close-up and sound its depths. I had resolved to follow you on your painful way of the cross. I wish to do so hand in hand with your beloved mother. She was the only one who properly understood and properly understood what you suffered on that way of the cross. Her mother’s heart beat in sympathy, and her faith made her recognize what was hidden.
O Mary, teach me to look on Jesus’ suffering, the destruction of your child whom you offered up for me. Bring it about that this sacrifice be not made for me in vain, that I may not pass indifferently by this nameless woe.
When you put yourself into this scene of Mary meeting Jesus on the way of the cross, what emotions are you feeling?
Can you even imagine what words you might say to Jesus?