Friday, February 23, 2007

The Stations


Well, tonight we celebrated the Stations of the Cross for the first time this Lenten Season. I can't say enough how much I love the richness of this season in our liturgical year. The songs, the symbols, the prayers and devotions are all so ancient and so textured, that it just makes my heart soar every year.

Here in my parish, we use the "Stations of the Cross" composed in 1861 by St. Alphonsus Liguori. If you're not familiar with them, you can view or pray them online at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/liguori.html

They just have such simple, yet, beautiful reflections for each station. The Reflection at the Sixth Station (Veronica offers her veil to Jesus), really stuck out for me: "R: My beloved Jesus, / Your face was beautiful before You began this journey; / but, now, it no longer appears beautiful / and is disfigured with wounds and blood. / Alas, my soul also was once beautiful / when it received Your grace in Baptism; / but I have since disfigured it with my sins. / You alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. / Do this by the merits of Your passion; and then do with me as You will."

Isn't that in many ways a great description of what Lent is all about? We achieved through the grace of Baptism a beauty of soul that cannot be matched, and yet through sin we disfigure that beauty. But, by the grace of Christ's Passion, by the wonder of this Season of Lent, by the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that beauty - literally a God-given beauty - can be restored to its full radiance.

Let us pray for a holy Lent for all of us that we may restore the beauty that was given us by God in Baptism. Let us reach Easter as disciples who are radiant in the sight of God.

Pax et bonum!

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