STATIONS OF THE CROSS
I Jesus is condemned to death.
“The fundamental texts of Christianity emphasize the fact that all the
powers of this world came together to kill Christ.” (Rene Girard)
II Jesus Carries His Cross
You hear the sound
Of marching boots.
You hear the earth
With a hollow thud.
(Knife, Charles Simic)
III Jesus Falls for the first time
I’m not living to die,
or so I tell myself.
Like the snail in the spiral cave
of a shell, I’m living for something
inside of me. My body
inside and out.
(Speaking To Myself, Jurgis Petraskas)
IV Jesus meets His mother, Mary
My beloved Mother
there is a distance
between my birth
and my crucifixion
an immense time…
(Was There Time, John Hejduk)
V Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
“If you say to someone who has ears to hear: ‘What you are doing to me is not just’,
you may touch and awaken at is source the spirit of attention and love.” (Simone Weil)
VI Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
lying kindly in the earth where images ripen
(Altar, Zbigniew Herbert)
VII Jesus falls for the second time.
I longed to return
to the bay of childhood
to the land of innocence
(Small Heart, Zbigniew Herbert)
VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
“We must not weep so that we may not be comforted.” (Simone Weil)
IX Jesus falls for the third time.
“Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty
of His executioners excessive, who tried to hasten His steps when He scarcely
strength to move.” (St. Alphonsus).
X Jesus is stripped of His clothes
the tramp of sacrificial animals says good-bye
they go carnal and bright carrying warmth on their necks…
they fall on their foreknees very surprised at their own blood.
(Altar, Zbigniew Herbert)
XI Jesus is nailed to the cross
What cannot grow up grows down-
nails and hairs of the beard into the flesh, unrequited desires
calcifying our blood vessels, envy
changing into ulcers, sadness into lice,
dirt into flies…
(The Wandering Border, Pt. IV, Jaan Kaplinski)
XII Jesus dies on the cross
“Death might overpower, but it could not keep possession, ‘it had no dominion
over Him’ (Rom, vi.9.). He was in the words of the text,
“the Living among the dead.” (Saint John Henry Newman, Sermon 13)
XIII Jesus is taken down from the cross
what remained was the thorns
wrapped around the wood Cross
snow fell and buried the rose petals
in the spring all would be taken away…
(In the Spring, John Hejduk)
XIV Jesus is placed in the tomb
When a white-faced boy asks from nowhere if I believe in Christ and living forever,
I stop stirring the mix, answer, “Yes, I do.” I answer slowly.
And when I speak, my own face deafens me.
The simple truth blooms like these painter flowers.
(Easter in the Cancer Ward, Nicholas Samaras)