Following In His Footsteps

(This reflection follows the melody of the traditional 'Stabat Mater' hymn for the Stations Of The Cross )

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1

Carrying the Cross

1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death

In the waters of baptism,
Creatures' hearts are torn in schism:
My old self's condemned to death.
2. Jesus Carries His Cross

In the calling of vocation,
Our burdens become salvation:
I accept this cross from You.
3. Our Lord Falls the First Time

When we fall because of weakness,
Our old pride becomes new meekness:
I accept my fragile heart.
4. Jesus Meets His Mother

In Your Mother we find solace;
Her embrace comes to console us:
She gives me strength to go on.
5. Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

We are Simon -- we help others;
We share burdens with our brothers:
I accept this call to serve.
6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

When we embrace each hurting soul,
We wipe Your face; You make them whole:
I accept this call to love.
7. Jesus Falls the Second Time

When we fail in persevering ,
Our discouraged hearts need healing:
Give me courage to go on.
8. Jesus Consoles the Women of Jerusalem

When the world fails to know us,
You long for them without solace:
I'll bring them to You in prayer.
9. Jesus Falls the Third Time

When we're crushed beyond all telling,
We find rest in Your in-dwelling:
I give you my broken soul.
10. Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

When we're stripped of dignity,
Our souls are bared for all to see:
Clothe me in humility.
11. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

By our sins we crucify Love;
But in Mercy we rise above:
Lord, have mercy on my soul.
12. Jesus Dies on the Cross

In the agony of Your death,
You forgave us in Your last breath:
May I love You more than life.
13. Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross

We who anguish at Love's demise,
Long for the day when You will rise:
Be with me in this sorrow.
14. Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Your death is our victory;
We live in Love eternally:
You are my unfailing Hope.

(c) Paul Buis, 2000

digital photographs taken at the Canadian Martyr's Shrine, Midland, Ontario, Canada

1. 1 Peter 2: 21-24