Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Sixth Station, Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.

This could be seen as another 'humanity' station, like the last one with Simon of Cyrene, but this time with Veronica representing humanity and wiping His face. It is not though upon Veronica that I wish to dwell, not only because she may or may not have existed, but because the veil is the important thing here, I think, not the person who applied it. The veil is, to me, a signifer of salvation, a piece of cloth and a corporal act of mercy which points the way to Heaven and shows the earthly life of Christ in a salvific context.

We all know the quote 'by His wounds, we have been healed', to me, this is incarnated in the cloth which bore the bloody imprint of His face. This cloth shows His stripes, His wounds, His suffering and the imminence of His death. It stands in direct parallel with the glorious white gowns which He wore in the early morning of the most Blessed day in history and it shows those wounds, inflicted on the body of a man, which hastened His death and our eternal life. This veil is the contrast between suffering, death and a new life in Christ, it stands for the stain of our sins, which precipitated His death when contrasted with the bright, stainless light of immortality and it shows, moreover, of the earthly struggle for sanctity, it's bloody, painful progress and reminds us that when things are bloody and hard, that can often be because we are doing truly great work. But like Christ, do not expect any thanks.

V. Thou hast not turned thy face from us.

R. Neither given thine servants over to thine anger.

Let us Pray.

O God, who by the Precious Blood of thy Son, restorest thine image within us: order our goings in thy paths; that thou mayest make us truly to hold fast to the holy gift of Charity; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Of your Charity, pray for the souls of Florence and Thomas Graham.