A few years ago, I discovered Stations of the Cross on Friday afternoons during Lent. One of our Catholic treasures. The booklets were probably as old as the church, and they smelled funny, but there was something about this devotion that I liked. Probably you shouldn't use "liked" when referring to the Stations of the Cross - how can you like an execution? - but maybe "appreciated". After sharing this walk with Jesus every Friday, Easter seemed to be more meaningful when it finally rolled around. As a kid, I only remember going to the Way of the Cross on Good Friday, but to go weekly seemed to make it more "real".
And so I have continued to go every year. In part, because when our new pastor's first Lent at our parish began, I saw nothing in the bulletin about the Way of the Cross. Thinking that it might have been an oversight, but fully prepared to look up the times of other nearby parishes, I emailed him. I soon had a reply that said it just wouldn't be possible with his schedule. Fair enough, he also has duties with the diocese. A little while later, another email saying that he would lead them until someone else was found to lead them. Three years later, he's still leading them, and I don't think he's looking too hard for a replacement.
Last year there were new booklets. They don't have an odd aroma, and they are written in more modern language. They are the Biblical Stations as opposed to the Traditional Stations. I have no real preference, but my boys went with me last week, and acted like they were being cheated because these stations don't match up with the ones on the walls of the church.
Which brings me to my point, I think. This year and last, I have found myself SO distracted during these prayers - especially during the early weeks of Lent. I find myself replaying events from all though out the week as the readings and prayers are said. Is it just a matter of finding "the zone"? Is it because on a Friday afternoon, I should be sitting on my recliner with my laptop on my lap just chillin'? Or maybe I should find a way to offer all those thoughts playing in my head - some of them ARE crosses - to Jesus as we're walking along? I don't really know the answer to that, but I hope that I will find it somewhere along the way during this Lent.
ASK FATHER: Irreverent priest at a funeral Mass.
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