The Way of the Cross

Here below, we propose an itinerary of prayer born from the contemplation of the Way of the Cross carved on wood by the artist Othmar Winkler (born at Brunico/Alto Adige in 1907) around 1950 -1952, and is found in the church of the Sisters of Maria Bambina, Trent, Italy.
A contemplative walk through this Way with a heart open to the Spirit disposes our spirit to bless God, because we understand that human weakness and contradictions do not impede him from being merciful and from saving in the blood of Jesus his Son, every man and woman who opens themselves to an encounter with him.

Note for the readers
: The prayer-reflections describe the images presented beside them.
During this season of Lent, let us contemplate on one station on every Friday

Introductory prayer

Father, we pray you in the name of Jesus and through Mary:
Grant to us the Holy Spirit,  so that, walking through the WAY OF THE CROSS of your Son, we may evermore become aware of the evil that is in us and outside of us in order to overcome it with your grace and above all to become convinced that you love us much and always.
For our life, you have indeed given your Son Jesus, whom we have crucified but you have him raised up.
Father, we beseech you: May all men and women have the certainty of being loved by you, even when their life becomes a ‘way of the cross’; believing and hoping in you, may they reach you in the blessedness of heaven. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 Jesus is condemned to death

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Mt 5:5).

Jesus, you are alone, accused, condemned without fault, and you remain silent.
No one defends you. Even you friends have abandoned you. The Sanhedrin hates you and so pronounces a sentence of death. The people, incited by the high priests and scribes, point their finger at you and shout: “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate would perhaps want to free you, but blocked by fear and by the Roman power, he hands you over to be crucified. Our sentence penetrates your silence: the Father allows the word of salvation for us all to pass through it and that word is you Jesus Christ, who reigns forever over the people with meekness of your heart.
We thank you and we pray you: Defend all the ‘defenseless’, forgive us when we ‘point our finger’ against our brother and sister and we fear to up hold the truth. Amen.

Our Father

Jesus falls the first time

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they  will be comforted” (Mt 5: 4).

Jesus falls under the cross.

The cross, already heavy in itself, weighs even more, because your hands and arms pull it down to crush you. You try to help yourself by evading the blow of the fall and holding on to the arm of the cross with one hand.

Maybe you are also looking for solace, but you come across Satan, the instigator of sin, the hypocrite, who would also like to enter within you, as he did in Judas.

But obedience to the Father, your only nourishment, gives you new strength and defeats Satan.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, our hypocrisies and duplicities: grant  us the grace to be poor, but ‘truly’ poor. Remember all those who live the fight against evil in their body and spirit. Help them, Lord Jesus!

Our father

Jesus meets his mother

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9) .

Jesus, in the encounter with your Mother, she tends her arms towards you so that your Cross may fall upon her shoulders. In the embrace that painfully unites you both, the ‘yes’ of the Son and the ‘yes’ of the Mother rises to the Father, for us.

Mary, at your feet is our sin: the instinct of evil, present in our heart. If not overcome with the grace, it brings forth evil fruits.

Jesus, war and violence that oppress our brother and sister in many ways are placed beside you.

Lord Jesus, make good the human heart, so that violence and war, excessive power and corruption may not come forth from it. May all people be able to experience brotherhood and come to know the time of true peace. Remember the victims of wars of yesterday and today.  Have mercy on those who suffer every form of violence and those who do it, so that they may be freed from their tyranny. Amen.

Our Father

Jesus is helped by the Cyrene

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Mt 5: 7)

Jesus, the Cyrenian feels an instinctive sense of repulsion because he is forced to help you carry the cross.

But, you, who also know his availability, touch his shoulder and, with this gesture, touch his heart, comfort him and encourage him.

We thank you, Lord Jesus, because you are our Cyrenian. Support all those who are oppressed by the cross and transforms us, their brothers/sisters into as many Cyrenians. Amen

Our father

Jesus is nailed to the Cross

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

Jesus, the nails have pierced your hands and your feet. While you suffer immensely and forgive, the blood gushes forth and is transformed into a flower of incorruptibility. In fact, no one can ever destroy the efficacy of your most precious Blood. The folded hands of Mary and John pray that it may not poured out in vain. Accept their prayer.

May the blasphemous shout, that invokes your Blood upon us for your death, become now in our hearts and on our lips a prayer of life.  Lord Jesus, listen to our prayer, because you are good.

The heavy hammers, the robust hands that show the intensity of pain and the forcefulness of men’s hatred, are overcome by your Blood, by your love that is always greater than our sin.

For us and for every man and woman, because you thought of all with goodness in that moment of atrocious suffering, we pray: “O Lord, purify us with your most precious Blood and save us”.

Our Father.

Jesus dies on the cross

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Mt 5: 7)

Jesus, you are dead.

In vain John tries to support your lifeless body. The veil of the temple is torn: the sacrifices of the Old Testament are no longer useful, because now from your sacrifice the true life arises, the one that will sustain us along the way in your Church: your Body, your Blood, your Spirit. We thank you, Lord Jesus.

Mary, our mother, Jesus has entrusted us to you. Teach us love and faith that is present at the foot of the cross and remember that portion of humanity that lives on Golgotha every day, so that it can accept with meekness and hope that place which was yours too.

We thank you, Mary, because, in pain, you accepted to be our Mother.

Hail Mary