The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Yes, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalms 22:16)
Jesus renews His commitment to His mission as He lays His body on the wood of the cross. He stretches out His arms as if to say, “See, I love you this much.” His exhausted face reflects His resolve. As the soldiers hold His arms in place and drive in the nails, He does not make a sound. His Mother, Mary, watches from a few feet away and reads the pain in His eyes. Each nail in His body is a sword in her heart. Now, they raise the cross with Him so cruelly attached to it. He is there for all to see, with common criminals for His peers. Each time He pushes Himself up on His pierced feet to catch a breath of air, a shooting pain tears through His ravaged body.
My Lord, as if all You have been through so far was not enough, now You are nailed to the cross that You have struggled to carry all this way. One drop of Your blood would have been more than enough to accomplish Your purpose, but Your love is not interested in only what suffices. Jesus, Your love and concern for us have always been extravagant. You have given more than what was necessary at every opportunity: from the miraculous catch of fish to the multiplication of the loaves, from the abundance of mercies that constantly flow from the sacraments, to the millions of details of each day that remind us of Your loving presence. The one word You do not understand is “enough.” Your heart must have been close to exploding, beating out of your chest as each nail that pierced your flesh sealed the Covenant that we had broken. We reached out and took from the tree; You reached out and gave yourself over to the tree. Jesus, I know words cannot say what I need to express. Let me be a witness to Your love by not letting “enough” enter into my vocabulary. You love my children more perfectly than I can; help me stay close to You so that Your love can flow through me.
Mary, you witnessed so closely the Passion of your son. Queen of Mothers, be close to me now and at the hour of any suffering that my children endure.
Points to consider:
Do I give in to a minimalist attitude in the time or effort I spend on my children’s needs? On the time I spend in prayer?
Do I see Our Lady as the ultimate resource as a mother, as a model for patience, for peace, for perseverance?
In what areas of my life can I be more generous? Where or when do I say “enough” although I know You want more from me?
Am I willing to sacrifice my comfort to help my children grow in virtue? Specifically, am I willing to stay up late, close the book, or turn off the television to have important conversations with my children? Do I take the time to get to know their friends, their dreams, and their worries?
Suffering borne in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God. Saint Jane Francis de Chantal, mother