Friday, 7 March 2008

The Eleventh Station, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.

One of the things which I am aware of, either when I lead stations or attend stations is that I or whoever leads is the sole voice in the service. Usually, of course, services are a joint effort in some way, with participation from different people, but apart from the singing of the Stabat Mater in between each station, we are relying on one persons account of this dreadful journey. If it were not for the horror and the truth of what we are following, it would be easy to sink into a torpor, but those emotions, together with the pictures themselves, seem to focus our minds. There is, of course, nothing like pain to focus our minds. I had a procedure on my knee a few years ago where four needles were inserted under my kneecap, two sucking something unidentified out and two pumping something else in. As they had to get beyond the cartilege and into a particular part, the pain was very acute, coupled with the disturbing sensation of feeling sensation where you do not generally feel it, this was a most unpleasant time. However, the liquid pumped in left me feeling happily blotto for a few hours afterwards. Sometimes I can still feel the needles under my knee, I know they are not there, of course, but the sensation remains.

So what of that? I am trying to explain that for those times when we follow the stations in our own hearts, we need some sort of experience to draw on, else we loose interest. This station is the most brutal, and calls for us to dig deep into our own hearts for meaningful analogy and some sort of congruence. None of us will be nailed to a cross and then hoisted far up, left to dangle whilst our hands tear on the nails but none of us will bear the weight of the sins of the world on our shoulders. Jesus was passed the drugged sponge at this time, but turned it away because he was not there only to die, but to be transformed and to transform us as well. Here, in the darkest hour, all we can do is to focus on our pain and loss and give thanks that those who suffer and die, suffer and die in the Lord, now we have been washed clean by His bloody wounds. If the Son of God had to endure pain, then so do we, it is unavoidable and part of the Human condition. Next time you hear someone say 'if God really existed, He would not allow....', think that He allowed His Son to be nailed to a tree and remember that was the greatest act of love that has ever been given.

V. They pierced my hands and my feet.

R. I may tell all my bones.

Let us pray. O God whose only begotton son by his passion and five wounds and by the shedding of his blood hath restored us to human nature what by sin had been lost : grant us, we beseech thee ; that we who venerate on earth these wounds recieved by him, may be worthy in heaven to recieve the fruit of the same precious blood ; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Of your charity, pray for the soul of Stanley Roberts.