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"O my Jesus, thank You for the book
which You have opened before my soul’s eyes.
That book is Your Passion which You underwent for love of me.
It is from this book that I have learned how to love God and souls.
In this book there are found for us inexhaustible treasures.
O Jesus, how few souls understand You
in Your martyrdom of love!" (Diary 304).

 

THE WAY OF THE CROSS

Based on the Rev. Dr. Michael Sopoćko’s
fragments of the book THE MERCY OF GOD IN HIS WORKS
Photograph of the Way of the Cross - Jasna Góra in Częstochowa



THE FIRST STATION
JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“I am ashamed, O Lord, to stand before Thy Holy Face, for I am so unlike Thee. So greatly didst Thee suffer for me during the scourging that this alone would have caused Thy death, but it was the will of the Heavenly Father and His sentence that Thee shouldst die on the Cross. And am I finding it hard to bear with the trifling faults and human frailties of my family.
Thou, in Thy Mercy, didst pour out Thy Blood for me, and I find any sacrifice or act of kindness to my neighbours a burden. Thou, with an ineffable patience, and in silence, didst bear the pain of the scourging, and I groan and complain if I am to suffer for You a difficulty or contempt from my neighbour”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE SECOND STATION
JESUS TAKES UP THE CROSS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“With deep compassion I will follow Jesus! I will bear patiently any sorrow that comes my way today, so little an offering but one to honour His journey to Golgotha. Indeed, it is for me that He is to die! It is for my sins that He is suffering! How can I be indifferent to this? Thou dost not ask of me, Lord, that I carry Thy heavy Cross with Thee, but that I bear my small, daily crosses patiently. Yet, until now I have not done so. I am ashamed and I regret my meanness and ingratitude. I have decided that whatever Thou wilt in Thy Mercy lay upon me, I will accept with trust and bear with love”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE THIRD STATION
JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“O Lord, Thou hast taken on Thyself a terrible burden - the sins of the whole world of all the ages. And among this horrifying mass of sins of hu-manity, my countless sins lay heavy on Thou with a deadweight burden. And they brought Thou to the ground. And so Thy strength gives out! Thou canst carry the load no longer, but dost fall under it. O Lamb of God, who in Thy Mercy takes away the sins of the world by the weight of Thy Cross, relieve me from the heavy weight of my sins, and light in me the fire of Thy love, whose flame may never be extinguished”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE FOURTH STATION
JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“Holy Mother, Virgin Mother, let me too share the sorrow in Thy Soul! I love Thee, the Sorrowful Mother, who follows the steps of Thy beloved Son - walking the way of shame and humiliation, the way of contempt and damnation. Engrave me on Thy Immaculate Heart and, as the Mother of Mercy, obtain for me this grace - that I may not falter as I follow Jesus and Thee on that thorny road to Calvary that the Divine Mercy determined for me”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE FIFTH STATION
SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY THE CROSS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“To me, as to Simon, the Cross is a bitter thing. By nature I shrink from it, but circumstances force me to become accustomed to it. I will try henceforth to carry my cross with the nature of Christ our Lord. Following the example of the Most Merciful Saviour, I will carry the cross for my sins, for the sins of others, and for the souls in Purgatory. I shall thus be practising the Royal Way of Christ, and will not swerve from it even when a sneering, hostile crowd surrounds me”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE SIXTH STATION
VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“Our Lord suffers no longer, so I cannot give Him a cloth to wipe away His Blood and sweat.
But the suffering Saviour lives on in His Mystical Body, in His brethren burdened with a cross - in the sick, the dying, the poor, and those in need, who still need a kerchief to wipe away the sweat. For He said: “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me”(Matt. 25:40).
I will stand then by my sick or dying neighbour with true love and patience, to wipe away His sweat, to strengthen and comfort Him”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE SEVENTH STATION
JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“O Lord (...), how canst Thou still bear with me, a sinner, who offends Thee every day with his countless sins? That Thou still wait for my improvement, it can only be explained by the greatness of Thy Mercy. Enlighten me, O Lord, with the light of Thy grace, that I may know all my transgressions and evil habits, which led to Thy second fall beneath the Cross, so that I may henceforth thoroughly uproot them. Thus, I pray and trust that Thy Mercy will help me”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE EIGHT STATION
JESUS CONSOLES THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM WHO WEEP FOR HIM

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“For me, too, there is a time of Divine Mercy - but this time is limited. When the time is gone, the hour of justice of which Our Lord speaks warningly will come. (...) I am burdened with many sins, so that I wither and dry up with fear; but I will follow in Christ’s footsteps, my heart will be pierced with sorrow for my sins, and I will, in this life, try to do justice through a sincere penance. I am inspired to do this penance by the might of God and the duty to serve Him. I am inspired to this penance by the Infinite Mercy of Jesus, who replaced His Crown of Glory with the Crown of Thorns, and came out to search for me, and when He found me, He hugged me to His Heart”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE NINTH STATION
JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“It is for me that Jesus suffers, for me He falls under the Cross! Where would I be today without these sufferings of the Saviour? (...) Only the Saviour can rescue us from the infernal abyss. Thus, all that we have today, and all that we are in the supernatural sense, we owe only to the Passion of Lord Jesus. Even carrying our own cross means nothing without grace. It is the Saviour’s Passion, and that alone, which makes our repentance worthy and our penance effective. Only His Mercy, revealed in His three falls, is the guarantee of my salvation”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE TENTH STATION
JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“This horrible mystery was witnessed by the Holy Mother, who saw everything, heard everything and contemplated everything. We can imagine her internal anguish as she saw her Son deeply ashamed, blood-drenched and naked, and tasting a bitter drink - the bitterness of which was intensified by my intemperance in eating and drinking.
From now on, with the help of Divine Grace - I want to and promise to practise prudent mortifications in this matter, so that the nakedness of my soul does not offend the eyes of Lord Jesus or His Immaculate Mother”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE ELEVENTH STATION
JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“In our thoughts let us stand on Golgotha, under Our Lord’s Cross, and ponder on the terrible scene. The Saviour hangs between Heaven and Earth, outside the town, rejected by His own people - hangs like a criminal, between two criminals - as the image of utter wretchedness, negligence and suffering. But He is like a leader who conquers the nations - not with arms and sword, but with the Cross - not to destroy, but to save them. As from now on, the Saviour’s Cross will be the tool of Divine Glory, Justice, and Infinite Mercy”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE TWELFTH STATION
JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“No one witnessed this sacrificial act with such wonderful and appropriate feelings and thoughts as the Mother of Mercy. Just as at the Conception and Nativity she acted on behalf of all humanity, adoring and ardently loving the Lord of Hosts, so at her Son’s death she adores the lifeless body hanging on the Cross, mourns over It, but, at the same time, has also in mind her adopted children. The representatives of those children were John the Apostle and, the converted, dying villain for whom she pleaded to her Son. Intercede for me too, O Mother of Mercy; remember me too, when, in my agony, I commend my soul to the Father”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE THIRTEENTH STATION
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“The Most Merciful Saviour, can any heart resist the overwhelming, overpowering eloquence with which Thou speaks to us through the innumerable wounds of Thy dead body as it rests on the bosom of Thy Sorrowful Mother?
(...) any act of Thine would have sufficed as propitation for Divine Justice and atonement for our sins. But Thou didst choose this kind of Redemption to show us the great value of our souls and Thy Infinite Mercy, so that even the greatest sinner might come to Thee with trust and contrition and receive forgiveness, as the dying villain did”.

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE FOURTEENTH STATION
JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.



“Mother of Mercy, who didst choose me for Thy child, that I might become the brother and sister of Jesus - Jesus whom Thee mourns, after laying Him in the tomb!
(...) Do not look at my weakness, instability, and carelessness, which I deplore unceasingly and continuously renounce. But ponder on the wish of Lord Jesus, who put me in your care. Fulfil, thus, Thy mission towards me, unworthy as I am; adjust the Saviour’s graces to my weakness, and be for me always the Mother of Mercy!”

LORD, HELP ME TO FOLLOW YOU WITH TRUST

Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on us.



THE RESURRECTION OF LORD JESUS


“The resurrection of Lord Jesus is the pinnacle of the life and work of the world’s Saviour.

(...) What the Saviour began on Mount Tabor, now became a complete reality: He clothed His body in brightness and beauty; He spiritualized it completely, making it subtle and penetrable, and totally obedient to His Will.
(...) We also long for the glorified life, for a spiritualized body, for the spiritualization of external forms. We long for our own Easter; we long for our souls to win victory over the base instincts of our body, and to attain joyful immortality.

(...) Shall we rise from the dead? To be certain of that truth let us recall that it is our creed: “The resurrection of the body”. Most of all, we should rise from spiritual death already in our present life.
(...) There are those who are spiritually dead who might be called living dead. Scripture makes a reference to them:
“you have the name of being alive, but you are dead (...) for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God”(Rev. 3: 1-2). Everyone whose life, work and creations are only for this world, and who seeks earthly glory, is dead. This is a tragedy of the earthly life, the life of this world, the life of disbelievers.
(...) It is impossible for eternal life to grow out of a life that is empty, idle and without spirit - just as it is impossible for an oak to grow from an empty acorn. That is why, while I am still on Earth, I must live my life keeping eternity in mind - in other words, a supernatural life. I must, thus, think, wish, suffer, struggle, rejoice and love according to the principles of faith.

(...) “....And you also are witnesses”(John 15: 27). These words, addressed to the Apostles, apply also to me. I am to be the witness of Christ with my life and daily behaviour, and my testimony must be one of virtue and holiness, a testimony of word and deed, perhaps a testimony of blood and martyrdom, and - at least - a testimony of mercy for the souls and bodies of my neighbours. I know that alone I am incapable of achieving this.
Thus, Holy Spirit, support me! I am aware that I must be a witness, but without Thy inspiration, I cannot. Create inside me, then, a new spirit! Let the ray of Thy Heavenly Glory light my fading face! Give me wings, so I may soar up to the joy above, so I may launch out into the deep, so my boat may not founder by the shore”.


Scripture quotations are from The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

FORWARD >> Divine Mercy. Devotion to the Divine Mercy. Trust.
Virtue of mercy - Duty to carry out Merciful deeds - texts written by Fr. Michael Sopocko

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© Translation: Ewa Olszowa, Copyediting: Matthew Vinall