It’s been my tradition since I started blogging in 2012, to use my blog during Lent, for the Stations of the Cross. This is a traditional Lenten devotion in the Catholic Church centuries old. But, it’s a devotion any Christian may participate in, and I invite you to join me. What is it? Every Catholic Church has 14 stations in the Church. Anyone can avail themselves of these stations, remembering, of course, that the purpose is devotional. Some Churches also have Stations posted outdoors in a yard or garden with a path connecting them. They are accessible year-round, but used the most during Lent.
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday and continues for 46 days until Holy Thursday, April 13. Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations. It is a period of preparation for Easter through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. Lent is observed by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and Methodists. A few Anabaptist and evangelical churches observe parts, as well.
The devotion of the Station of the Cross commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. For Catholics who attend Mass and Reconciliation, the concentration is on personal sacrifice and resisting temptation. It’s a pilgrimage as we move from station to station following Jesus’s footsteps as we meditate and pray at each station, putting ourselves there, with Him. It’s experiential, solemn and meaningful as we walk close to our Lord in the Passion.
Beginning with Thursday’s blog I invite all of you of to join me in this pilgrimage through Lent. The station icons are from the many Churches where I’ve attended Mass during the year, as I’m often away from my own parish on weekends, traveling with my books.
I hope you will join. Bring your own hymns and prayers if you like, and spend time in meditation during this holy season. I post on Mondays and Thursdays. When you walk the stations, alone or with others, all 14 stations make up the devotion. On the blog we will have only one or two at a time. Use the days in between to meditate on that station.
I pray it will be a grace for Lent, for us all.