***For the next two weeks, I will be steering my Lenten Blog Challenge into the direction of The Way of the Cross, also known as The Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa. These names are used to signify either a series of pictures or tableaux representing certain scenes in the Passion of Christ, each corresponding to a particular incident, or the special form of devotion connected with such representations. I will be posting a Station each day, then reflecting on that Station. To read more about the Way of the Cross, click HERE.
STATION VIII: JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM
The sound of crying could be heard over the taunts and the jeers. It was a wailing so passionate that it caught our Lord's attention even in the midst of His own agony. Jesus' eyes scanned the onlookers, spotting a group of women weeping for Him. And now Christ, the Suffering Servant, would reach out to ease others' suffering yet again. "Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves ... "(Luke 23:27-28). He consoles them yet challenges them to see beyond just this moment. He offers a vital perspective to the children of God. Jesus Christ was on a mission. Love is always on a mission.
Suffering must be part of our growing. I think God allows us to make our choices, so that when we choose him, it is because we freely want to. Infertility is one of my ongoing battles in the suffering department. It isn't the only suffering I endure, but it has been a common thread for nearly four years now. A good friend once told me "Anna, throw yourself at God-- he can handle you beating on his chest-- he can handle your scream of frustration. He understands." So I did. I let him have it-- one day when I just couldn't swallow my suffering anymore. Because of that moment, and the trials I have faced, I found myself closer to him. Our love for Him is tested in our trials-- and those around us may wonder "how on Earth did you get through that trial in your life?" Our answer is merely a motion-- we signal to God. He is our reason to sing. Suffering helps us to grow in compassion, gratitude and dependence on God, your loving Father. Sometimes we are in sickness or standing by watching as a loved one suffers. There is nothing we can do. Sometimes we don't even have the words or strength to open our mouths to pray. If we trust in Him-- we will be led to Him. Just as when we exercise, our muscles tear. It hurts, but it is necessary for us if we want to grow! So too, in suffering, our hearts tear, so they can be mended by Him. As St. Augustine said, "God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering. He knows our pain, and can feel us suffering in our darkest night-- we must remember that after every night, comes day.
2 days ago