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Stations of the Cross

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Definition:  A series of fourteen pictures or sculptures spread out within the Catholic sanctuary depicting the last hours of Jesus’ life. It is the duty of Catholics to pray and meditate before each station, especially on Good Friday. According to Pius XI, the purpose of the prayer is to make reparation to Jesus for His suffering. John Paul II describes the prayer before the Stations as an “unceasing effort to stand beside the endless crosses on which the Son of God continues to be crucified.” An indulgence is granted for performing the Stations of the Cross. The fourteen Stations of the Cross are:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus is given His cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

Discussion: A major difference between Catholicism and true faith is this: no completion. The Catholic is told that he must continually do something to achieve salvation. They are taught that no one can know for certain if they are accepted. This fact is graphically displayed in the performance of the Stations. We cannot make reparations for killing Jesus – true salvation is given as a free gift, and forgiveness is forever for His children. To offer compensation for the suffering of our Savior is an abhorrent idea, for we have nothing praiseworthy to give Him. The Bible warns of those who “again crucify to themselves the Son of God, bringing Him to open shame” (Heb. 6:6).

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