We invite you to quiet yourself and enter into peaceful, prayerful state. Read Blessed Titus Brandsma’s reflection on Albert Servaes’ Second 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.
My God, that heavy cross to which it is the plan to nail you, do you also have to carry it? You’ve already had to suffer too much. The terrible loss of blood has robbed you of your last ounce of strength. Indeed, the executioners think it can be done, and that you can be gotten to the top of the hill alive. Nevertheless, it is terrible. That cross that you embrace will soon bear your body, exhausted by torture, attached to it with nails. The very thought must’ve made you shudder at that cross and, even though your bodily strength permitted, must have made it impossible for you to carry that cross of Calvary. Could you not be permitted a moment of rest before that most dreadful of all tortures which will soon begin? Could you not be spared the cruel torture of carrying your own instrument of torment to the place of execution? You who already lack the strength to go on without the burden of the cross? Sin knows no rest. Sinful desire is never satisfied. Now the power of darkness with the same restless passion drives a sacrificial victim onward. Like a lamb you allow yourself to be led to the slaughter. No complaint escapes your lips.
No, while your body almost collapses and is not up to carrying that heavy weight of the cross, your eye glows with the holy fire, for it beholds the throne of the king who’s not of this world and on which it is desired you be raised with four clumsy nails. It is as though your strength returns, for a while it was thought you would have to be forced, you suddenly wrap your arms around the Cross, in order to carry the frightful and the burden which our sins me heavier and heavier and which we are unwilling to carry. There is no one to help you. All alone you must tread the wine press that will press the last drop of blood from your body.
O Cross, O Sacred Wood, in the hands of my God heavy indeed, but carried by him with his last reserve of strength. Will I not take you upon myself, now that I see that my Jesus precedes and thereby makes it light for my shoulders? O God, I will not only follow your way of the cross; together with you I take up the cross, my cross that you destine for me. Laden with my cross, I will go up with you to the holy mount.
Just as Jesus is beginning the journey to his crucifixion on Calvary we too are beginning our Lenten journey. What cross–or crosses–are you bearing this Lent? (Be specific.)
How do you plan to call for assistance to help you bear that burden this Lent?