Sunday's Christian Book Review
by Richard Furey
1984; 2007, Twenty-Third Publications, 32 pgs
"This bestselling way of the cross follows Jesus on his journey to Calvary through the eyes of his mother, Mary. With a mother's love and also with deep faith, she accompanies him and invites readers to follow him as well—with love and deep faith."
Borrowed a Copy from my local parish.
This is an absolutely beautiful spiritual way to pray the fifteen stations of the cross, or to simply pray and devote your prayers to one of the sorrowful passions made on the way of the Cross. This booklet is used in my Church whenever we hold Stations of the Cross, usually followed by Benediction. So in my head when I read this I hear the voices of the people who read their parts (our Deacon and his wife) which brings the whole thing so perfectly to life for me. I honestly can't imagine a more genuine way to reflect the passion of Christ than through the eyes of Mary as she followed along, witnessed and accepted what she knew had to be. For each station there first is a paragraph, somewhat poetic but really prose; however as you continue through the book you notice the poetic pattern being followed. These first words are from Mary's mouth, what she is seeing, thinking, feeling at each station as Jesus is condemned, takes his cross and eventually dies upon the cross, through the 15 stations. This is read aloud to the congregation. Some quotes:
"My pain for him was unbearable. I wanted to take the cross from him and carry it myself. But I knew it had to be, so I walked on silently."
"Our eyes met, mine full of tears and anguish, his full of pain ... then his eyes said to me, "Courage! There is a purpose for this."
The second paragraph is for the congregation to read aloud together. This is in our repentant, sinners' voices as we connect with Mary's experience and what Jesus is suffering for us at each station. We pray to Jesus at these times asking for forgiveness. Some quotes from the second paragraphs:
"Lord Jesus, I beg you to forgive me for the many times I have added more weight to your cross by closing my eyes to the pain and loneliness of my neighbor."
"Lord in my own way I too have stripped you. I have taken away the good name of another by foolish talk ... by my prejudice. Jesus, there are so many ways I have offended you through the hurt I have caused others. Help me to see you in other people."
All the words in this booklet are beautiful and I always weep whether I am participating in the Stations with my Church family or silently by myself.