From the Desk of Mrs. Pat Farrell, Director of Spiritual Formation
One of our most beautiful Lenten traditions at St. James School is taking the children to Stations of the Cross on Friday afternoon. The students attend the Stations in groups of two grade levels. This way the form of the Stations that is used can be age-appropriate for them. This not only allows for a prayerful experience because the students can understand the Stations, but it also makes it possible for students to participate in reading portions of the Stations, as well as engaging in the responses.
While Stations of the Cross are most closely associated with Lent, the students are encouraged to come and pray the Stations anytime throughout the year with a parent – or the whole family. Christ is always at our side. It is good for us to be at His side, as well.
I think that this is a particularly meaningful prayer this Lent. We have seen some horrid events- most notably the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. This event, in particular, gave me an even deeper understanding of the 8th Station – particularly because I was praying that station with our 7th and 8th grade students –without knowing what was happening- almost at the moment that this horror was unfolding.
As I found out, it struck me that this Station, which is taken from the Gospel of Luke (23: 28-31) where Jesus is noted as saying “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children…” really speaks to the fact that Jesus has seen complete evil. There are many interpretations of the meaning of this station, yet my own interpretation of this Station came to include this thought as I learned of the reality that had happened in Florida.
We are living in a time when we and our children are witnessing tremendous fear and trepidation. Yet uniting our spirits with reality as Jesus experienced it – even the evil –makes it possible also for us to experience the true meaning of the Resurrection.
“We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus.”489 The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross:
Christ is risen from the dead!
Dying, he conquered death;
To the dead, he has given life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638)