Sunday, 8 April 2007

Good Friday

I opted to attend the Solemn Stations of the Cross this year (I went to the Children's Stations in previous years, but just fancied a change!) The meditations of St. Alphonsus are pretty moving - he certainly doesn't let me off the hook when it comes to the realisation that my sins are what helped to nail Christ to that cross.

I find that "modern" Stations are often too preoccupied with things like racism, solidarity with the poor, helping the marginalised, crimes against humanity. I know that these injustices need to be remembered, and fought against, but Stations just seems the wrong time to do it. It's too easy to think "oh, that's ok, I'm not racist," or "fine, I've just sent a cheque to Aid to the Church in Need." So we need to be brought up short: we all sin, and it is those sins which Christ died to forgive. The big ones, definitely. But the little ones too... the times when I snapped at someone, the times I was inconsiderate, the times I sulked, the times I gossiped, or groused...

Somehow, St. Alphonsus seems to bring my many imperfections home to me. Mea culpa...

5 comments:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Lovely picture.

'Gaudia Paschalia ' Mac!

God bless

Lee Gilbert said...

Mulier Fortis,

After my spiritual director recommended saying the Stations of the Cross, I began collecting and experimenting with different versions.

Most of them had the defects that you mention. Some of the more traditional, older versions had depths of sentiment it was simply impossible to sustain with frequent use.

Finally I hit upon a version put out by Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota, "Adapted from an Old Latin Compilation of Liturgical and Biblical Texts." In my view it is hands down the best of all. The prayers esp are beautiful.

Here is the prayer from the Ninth Station: "Guard us, O God on high, by your ever present mercy and goodness. Without your help we cannot overcome the evil that beckons us, because of our weak human nature. Without you we shall surely fall. Help us to avoid all that is sinful and guide our steps in the way of all that is profitable for our salvation. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen."

northern cleric said...

They are my favourites too, Lee Gilbert, I alternate between them and a rather fine 'updated' version of the St Alphonsus Stations from the North American College's "Manual of Prayers".

Mark said...

I'm not sure who wrote our Stations, but they didn't seem modern.

DilexitPrior said...

St. Alphonsus Liguori's Stations are the one's I use when praying the Stations of the Cross on my own (or with a friend or two. . .).

He's one of my favourite saints. . . well, I have a lot of favourites but he's definitely in my inner circle of intercessors. . . I spent the Triduum reading his book on the Passion and Death of Christ. If anyone's looking for good Holy Week reading next year (or any time of year. . .) this is a really good choice.

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