Be Merciful to Me, Person Forgetful of the Persecuted

Is this really the way the Stations of the Cross are supposed to work?

Lord Jesus, Pope Francis has asked us to contemplate “the martyrs of our own time” saying, “They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity. They follow him on his way.” Help us learn from them to follow in your footsteps.

First Station

Pilate condemns Jesus

“Crucify him!” they said. “The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.” Luke 23:21, 24

We remember those who stand before modern Pilates, atheist materialists, drug lords and Islamists from Colombia to China, powerful rulers who see Christ and his Church as an obstacle and want to destroy both in their people.

Lord Jesus, like our brothers and sisters before us, help us accept the unjust judgment of Pilate in order to show your perfect love and goodness.

The Second Station

Jesus Accepts His Cross

“Carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.” John 19:17

We remember Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. In 1928 Mexico, the 15-year-old boy was tortured and attacked as he made his own way to his place of execution. “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King,’ we will spare your life,” the soldiers told him. Jose shouted “Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long live Christ the King!) and died a martyr.

Lord Jesus, when we are offered an opportunity to share your cross, give us the grace to say yes.

The Third Station

Jesus Falls the First Time

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” John 15:18

We remember those who stop practicing their faith in times of persecution. Not everyone is a hero. Many quietly denounce Christ either out of fear of reprisal, or for fear of unpopularity.

Lord Jesus, you fell on your way of the cross and then got up. Have mercy on those who have stopped practicing their faith when persecution has come in whatever form, and inspire them to return.

(Eleven more stations and lots of empathy and denial.)

Is the suffering of Jesus supposed to make us think of international affairs and struggles among national powers? Or might it not be helpful for remembering the reason for his suffering and death, like my sin?

Just askin’.

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31 thoughts on “Be Merciful to Me, Person Forgetful of the Persecuted

  1. “Lord Jesus, help us to trivialize your incomprehensible, unfathomable passion by focusing on our own personal sufferings.”

    Ugh. Apparently Joel Osteen doesn’t have a monopoly on this sort of baloney.

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  2. No it’s not the way it’s supposed work. It works that way when your faith is in whatever the Denziger of the day, the hour is.

    We deserve this void, we’ve labored for it decade after decade.

    A humble and spiritually active man, when he reads the Holy Scriptures, will refer everything to himself and not another. (St. Mark the Ascetic)

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  3. “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King,’ we will spare your life,” the soldiers told him. Jose shouted “Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long live Christ the King!) and died a martyr.

    Had I read this properly, my first comment wouldn’t have been different. It reads back glibly and then some.

    To recall the sacrifice of a martyr is no affront to the Passion of Christ. It honors it.

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  4. That should read would have been different.

    But the words of St. Mark the Ascetic abide, untouched by my dull wit and trigger judgement.

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  5. “And it assumes that our concern should only be for ourselves.” Not at all. Only that it should certainly include ourselves and not be drowned in a global litany that removes immediacy. Anyone attending Catholic services knows the latter is what routinely happens. Which is why confession lines have evaporated. We repented as a group!

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  6. Is this really the way the Stations of the Cross are supposed to work?

    Well, yes it is, Darryl. Courage in the face of abuse. As the abuser you remain unembarrassed at the other cheeks your victims gladly offer.

    But someday you’ll get it.

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  7. So this is how the Stations work:

    2. The Stations allow us to visit the Holy Land

    Around the 17th century, Franciscans began to develop a “Way of the Cross” in local churches whereby the faithful could walk through the passion narrative without having to go to Jerusalem. Here is a brief history:

    Innocent XI, in 1686, granted to the Franciscans, in answer to their petition, the right to erect the Stations in all their churches, and declared that all the indulgences that had ever been given for devoutly visiting the actual scenes of Christ’s Passion, could thenceforth be gained by Franciscans and all others affiliated to their order if they made the Way of the Cross in their own churches in the accustomed manner. Innocent XII confirmed the privilege in 1694 and Benedict XIII in 1726 extended it to all the faithful. In 1731 Clement XII still further extended it by permitting the indulgenced Stations to all churches, provided that they were erected by a Franciscan father with the sanction of the ordinary. At the same time he definitely fixed the number of Stations at fourteen.

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  8. New stuff for (all about) me, these stations.

    Google tells me this is where you got it.

    I’ll be reading. Thanks as always.

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  9. Hi TVD,

    You asserted (in another thread, I can link you know) protestantism “doesnt exist” or at least the word Protestant has no meaning. You really need to check yourself, man:

    It was Paul Tillich (1886-1965), one not known for his orthodoxy, who observed the great chasm between sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Protestant theology and contemporary fundamentalism. Tillich first distinguishes between classical Protestant orthodoxy, the genus under which one would find the theology of the Westminster Standards, and fundamentalism:

    We must also be sure to distinguish between orthodox and fundamentalism. The orthodox period of Protestantism has very little to do with what is called fundamentalism in America. Rather, it has special reference to the scholastic period of Protestant history. There were great scholastics in Protestantism, some of them equally as great as the medieval scholastics… . Such a thing has never been done in American fundamentalism. Protestant Orthodoxy was constructive. It did not have anything like the pietistic or revivalistic background of American fundamentalism. It was objective as well as constructive, and attempted to present the pure and comprehensive doctrine concerning God and man and the world. It was not determined by a kind of lay biblicism as is the case in American fundamentalism—a biblicism which rejects any theological penetration into the biblical writings and makes itself dependent on traditional interpretations of the word of God. You cannot find anything like that in classical orthodoxy. Therefore it is a pity that very often orthodoxy and fundamentalism are confused.
    So, then, Tillich was certain that fundamentalism and Protestant orthodoxy were beasts of a completely different stripe.

    Tillich goes on to explain specifically how Protestant orthodox theologians are different than American fundamentalists:

    One of the great achievements of classical orthodoxy in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was the fact that it remained in continual discussion with all the centuries of Christian thought. Those theologians were not untheological lay people ignorant of the meanings of the concepts which they used in biblical interpretation. They knew the past meanings of these concepts in the history of the church which covered a period of over fifteen hundred years. These orthodox theologians knew the history of philosophy as well as the theology of the Reformation. The fact that they were in the tradition of the Reformers did not prevent them from knowing thoroughly scholastic theology, from discussing and refuting it, or even accepting it when possible. All this makes classical orthodoxy one of the great events in the history of Christian thought.
    http://www.opc.org/os.html?article_id=115

    So many errors on these interwebs, TVD, so few corrections. Try helping instead of adhom again DGH next time, Ciao!

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  10. Curt, the point is that the problem in the Bible is man’s opposition to God. Sure, it has social consequences, but don’t you think there’s an important difference between causes and consequences? It never seems like it.

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  11. Zrim,
    First, there are primary causes and secondary causes. One can address either one or both. But do we say nothing about adultery because all we have to address is man’s opposition to God?

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  12. Curt, of course not but adultery is a personal sin, not a so-called “social sin.” You make much of the OT prophets for your category of social sin, but it’s hard to see how Psalm 51 helps that cause. With your social sin lenses, David is way too caught up in himself.

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  13. Zrim,
    Realize that Psalm 51 is not the only in the scriptures. Also realize that we can’t reduce what the scriptures say about sin to one chapter in Psalms, we need to include all of the scriptures. In addition, what is the context for Psalm 51?

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  14. Curt, first, thanks for the crucial reminder. Secondofly, you don’t say? Additionally in conclusion, the context is David’s persona sin against God.

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  15. Modern Martyr’s – it’s predominantly about me, sing along.

    Perhaps the author should read Far From Rome, Near to God
    know, why’d they wait so long to axe him. McClaren-ite was escorted out the Wesleyan church door when he tried to introduce the stations of the cross throughout the building. I

    I hope to someday set up my own stations of the cross in a kind of J. Shelby Sponge meets Sister Angelica meets Saint Joseph of Cupertino motif. Cupertino had the gift of levitation. It’s true.

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  16. Let’s try that again.

    Perhaps the author should read Far From Rome, Near to God

    It was 2010 and the young Catholic turned Wesleyan turned Bell-ite/McClaren-ite turned Open Theist was escorted out the Wesleyan church door when he tried to introduce the stations of the cross throughout the building. I know, why’d they wait so long to axe him?

    I hope to someday set up my own stations of the cross in a kind of J. Shelby Sponge meets Sister Angelica meets Saint Joseph of Cupertino motif. Cupertino had the gift of levitation. It’s true.

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  17. I walked the stations in the Zen garden my old seminary had ‘stationed’ outside the chapel a few months back, that was after they wanted me to buy a brick for the walkway. My wife had never seen one. Now she has. Our life is complete

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  18. Andrew,
    I have 5 comments, 4 of which are responses to comments addressed to me. You have 4 comments none of which are responses to comments addressed to you. Don’t need a Jedi mind trick here to figure out what you’re saying.

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  19. Andrew,
    That limit was not stated in any of the reformed confessions of faith let alone the Scriptures. It’s a guide, not a law. And it is meant to put a curb on some conversations dominating the blog.

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  20. “Is the suffering of Jesus supposed to make us think of international affairs and struggles among national powers? Or might it not be helpful for remembering the reason for his suffering and death, like my sin?”

    This is specifically a “Modern Martyrs’ Stations of the Cross,” whose purpose is to afford the faithful the opportunity to remember in prayer “those who are in bonds, as bound with them” (Heb. 13:3).

    The Bible itself encourages us to think of sufferings undergone for Christ’s sake in solidarity with Him and even in mystical union with His Passion. Consider the following:

    Romans 8:17: “We suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.”

    2 Timothy 2:11-12: “A faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall live also with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.”

    Colossians 1:23-24: “I Paul… Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.”

    It’s very true the Lord died for our sins, but it is also true that wicked men in power crucified Him and that by His cross He “despoiled principalities and powers,” and “made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them” (Col. 2:15).

    This post is yet another demonstration of W2K’s tone deafness to biblical Christianity and authentic Christian spirituality.

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