By Sheila McCallum
Pacem in Terris Retreat Center, Isanti
The Stations of the Cross is our Savior’s journey as well as our own. He took this path first and left behind a map, so to speak, for us to follow, for he said, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
The lesson Jesus imparts to us in the Second Station of this journey is humble acceptance of the crosses that will inevitably come during our lifetime on earth. But the journey of the stations does not end with taking up the cross. There are 12 more stations, 12 more rich lessons.
Although we will falter under the weight of the cross as Jesus also fell, he gives us the grace to get up again and again. And we, too, will meet holy friends, like the holy women who encountered Jesus, who encourage us along the way. There will be a Veronica who shows us tender compassion, and a Simon of Cyrene to help shoulder our cross. But the best companion on this journey — apart from our Lord who is present to us always — is our Blessed Mother who accompanies us to our last breath and then takes us by the hand to heaven.
Risen Savior, teach me how to take up my own cross with humble acceptance and to recognize the graces you give me to carry my cross. May I not be so consumed by the burden of my own crosses so as not to reach out to befriend, encourage and assist my sisters and brothers who are also carrying crosses. On that final day, when we lay our crosses to rest, may we be found worthy to be with you, Jesus, in heaven for all eternity. Amen.