Monday, February 25, 2008

Stations one at a time

I've always had trouble praying the Stations of the Cross--a funny thing for a Franciscan to say. It often seems like a forced march rather than a slow, prayerful reflection on the mysteries of the Passion. My spiritual director said something the other week in passing that really has changed my experience of the Stations. He mentioned that he meditates on only one station a day. Since then I have tried that approach and it has lead to a much deeper, richer experience of prayer.

Our chapel is one of those church in the round types with the stations mounted on the exterior wall behind a kind of colonnade , so what I do is stand in front of the station of the day and "announce" it to myself. Then I walk around the perimeter of the chapel while reflection on the station. When I get to the tabernacle I genuflect. When I get to the stain glass window of the Sacred Heart, I reflect upon it. Our chapel has a bunch of different Stations booklets in a basket by the first station. Each time I walk around the perimeter I look at an illustration from a different one of those books.