Friday's & the Way of the Cross
Lent is a time for spiritual renewal, inviting us to deepen our relationship with Christ through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It's a period of 40 days that prepares us for the joy of Easter, mirroring Jesus' time in the desert. On Fridays, we especially focus on the Stations of the Cross and abstain from meat, embracing small sacrifices as a way to remember Christ's ultimate sacrifice for us. These practices not only draw us closer to God but also unite us as a community in faith and devotion.
The Parish will pray together Stations of the Cross each Friday at 6.00pm at Our Lady of Victories Church.
In addition, we encourage you to pray at one station each day.
L/ We adore You O Christ and we praise You
R/ Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Read the reflection for the Station you are contemplating that day
3 Hail Mary's
The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to death
There you stand before the crowd after being beaten. You never deny yourself, yet humbly accept
the punishment given to you by those who had witnessed your miracles. It’s easy to look at this
scene now and think, ‘How could they have accused you and condemned you to death? All you did
was love every person you met.’ Yet they are not alone in their condemnation of you.
Jesus, forgive me for the ways in which I condemn and pierce others with my words and actions.
Help me to love like you and to learn from your example.
The Second Station: Jesus carries the Cross
By now you have endured a sleepless night, betrayal by your friends, and a beating. You’ve been
whipped, stripped, and spit on by countless faces, some of whom last week treated you as royalty
as you entered the city. And now, they hand you a cross to carry. The weight of it is far more than
any number of pounds we can figure. For in carrying the cross, you carry the weight of our sins.
Jesus, help me not to forget the load that you carried for me. Give me the strength and the courage
to let go of those things that separate me from you.
The Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First time
As you walk through the narrow streets, every movement, the pain along with the weight of the
cross becomes too much and you fall. In boxing, when a fighter falls and is too beaten to continue,
the fight is stopped by the referee. Yet, there is no one there to stop the battle that you fight for
us. Even though you know what still lies ahead, you do not stop and somehow find the strength to
Jesus, help me to remember your courage and perseverance when you fell. Give me the courage to
get back up when I fall. Help me remember that it is worth it to live as you lived.
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother
Amid all the shouts and jeers from the crowd that move like a wave in your mind as you struggle to
remain conscious, one voice stands out. At first it is so faint that you wonder if it is real, but then as
your eyes meet and you see her face you are not surprised that she is there for you. She has always
been there for you. Her ‘Yes’ to the Father has been a light in the darkness. And now, here in your
darkest hour, she is there.
Jesus, help me to remember that I am never alone in my struggles. Help me to turn to your Mother in
my life and give my Yes to the Father as she did.
The Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus carry his Cross
The soldiers who had beaten you all day had what appears to be a moment of compassion. Yet
instead, their selfish motives override their opportunity for charity. They only want to follow their
orders to get you up to the place where you will be crucified. How beaten you look that they decide
to grab Simon a Cyrene out of the crowd to help you carry the cross. He follows behind you,
walking in your steps, helping you move forward. You press on, knowing that the worst is yet to
Jesus, open my ears to hear the ways that you call me to serve. Help me follow Simon’s example of
helping others. Help me to know what it means to be a true and faithful servant.
The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Up to this point all who approach you, other than your mother, either shout at you or spit in your
face. As Veronica approaches, she walks differently than the others. As she reaches out
her hands and wipes your face with her cloth, suddenly her face of compassion becomes clear. No
words are necessary, both your eyes say it all. For in that moment, your dignity as a man is restored.
Jesus, help me to see your presence in others. Give me the courage to follow Veronica’s example of
treating others with love even when no one else does.
The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time.
The soldiers are enraged at you for falling this time. They can’t understand how Simon’s help is
not enough. At this moment you can stop this! You are the Messiah and have the power to reveal
yourself to everyone there. But you know that it would not fulfill all that is written about you. You
know that you must be faithful to all of the Father’s promises to His people. Remembering your love
and your faithfulness you get up, and now with your wounds full of dirt and each step embedding it
deeper, you keep going.
Jesus, help me to believe in your faithfulness and love for me. Give me the grace to follow through
on my word to others. Help me to be a person of integrity.
The Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
They cry and weep. They know you are on your way to be crucified and because of the beating you
have endured you already look like you should not be breathing at all. Yet in this moment consumed
by death, you speak words of life and say, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me.’
Jesus, help me to listen to your words of life. Show me ways that I can put you first.
The Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time.
Again you fall, this time from sheer exhaustion. Only your will presses you forward while your body
refuses. How difficult it must be to be you, fully God and fully man. God knows that this has to
be finished and that it is not yet complete. Man feels the excruciating pain and every bone in your
body wants to stop right here and move no further. Somehow both join together and you muster the
strength to get up. You vow to not fall again because now you can see the place they are leading you
to. You know the end is close and so you press on.
Jesus, help me to follow your ways. Help me remember your victory over my sin. Give me the grace
to recognize when I sin and the desire to sin no more.
The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments.
In some ways to get to this point is a relief because you know this is almost over. In other ways it
is terrifying because you know worse pain is waiting for you. As the soldiers strip you bear,
it is not the nakedness that is painful but rather the tearing of your skin. The cuts that had closed,
Jesus, help me to look past the outside of others. Help me not to judge them by how they look or
what they wear. Help me to find my self worth and identity in you.
The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Lying down on wood is not foreign to you. The first place you were laid when you came into this
world was a wooden manger. There you were laid in love and now it is out of love that you lay here
on this wooden cross. The soldiers pull your right arm out beside you and then pain flows
through your entire body. Pain shoots up your legs as they nail your feet.
Jesus, I’m sorry for nailing you to the cross with my own sin. Help me to seek your forgiveness and
mercy for the times that I sin.
The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the Cross.
Above your head is the inscription, ‘King of the Jews’. As you use every last ounce of life left in you
to lift your body so that you can speak, you do not look the part. Yet, every word out of your mouth
is one of love, truly from another kingdom. The faces of all humanity must flash before your eyes as
one by one you recount whom you are doing this for. And finally you say, ‘Father, into your hands I
commend my spirit...it is finished.’ You breathe your last and it looks as though this is the end.
Jesus, help me never forget your love for me. Help me to know that you died for me. Fill me with
comfort in knowing that I never suffer anything you don’t understand.
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
The first arms that held you in this world are also the last. Your mother was told a sword would
pierce her heart the day she presented you as an infant to the Father. Now as she holds your body
she sees not only the man she now holds, but also the child she held and her heart is pierced.
Your comfort to her will come but in this moment she has only the Father to be with her in her
sorrow and pain. All hope seems gone.
Jesus, help me to trust in you. Help me to place all of my hope in you and give me peace in knowing
that you are Lord over all things.
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is placed in the tomb.
You are laid to rest by Joseph of Arimethea, Mary Magdalene, Mary your mother and a few other
women. As your body is anointed, Mary Magdalene remembers your eyes penetrating her heart.
Tears stream down her face along with the others there as they too remember your love. They wrap
your body in clean linens and lay it in a new tomb. The stone is rolled over the entrance and now it
surely is the end. Up to this point, death is final. While those you have lived with, laughed with and
cried with are in their heightened sorrow believing all is over, you are conquering sin and death.
Jesus, help me always remember that death is not the end. Give me the strength to say the words,
‘I love you’ to those people in my life that I do love. Help me to love every person not just in words
but also with my actions. Jesus, I love you, I need you, and I trust you. Amen