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Caitlin Kennell Kim, seminary grad, baby wrangler, ordinary radical, writes about the life of a convert in the Catholic Church and explores how faith and everyday life intersect.

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April 11th, 2014

Via Dolorosa: Stations for Your Way of Sorrow

A companion for the Stations of the Cross if you are struggling with your health

 
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Busted Halo Family,

I write this companion for the Stations of the Cross as I begin my wait for a kidney transplant. I am blessed to feel healthy, energetic and very optimistic. Meditating on the Stations has been especially fruitful for me this Lent. I wanted to write a version for those going through a difficult time with their health. If your way of sorrow does not include illness, I hope these Stations will help you find your own words to draw nearer to Jesus in a time of uncertainty.

Have a blessed Lent and Godspeed to you on your journey,

Caitlin

Opening Prayer

Jesus, today I accompany you on your Via Dolorosa — your way of sorrow. You walked this way of sorrow for me. Out of boundless love for all humankind you suffered and died. Lord, forgive me. I know that the weight you bear is not only that of the cross but of my sins. By meditating on your Via Dolorosa, I desire a spirit of repentance.

Lord, I am walking my own way of sorrow. I am ill. My body is failing me. I am afraid. Walk with me, Jesus. You will never abandon me. By meditating on your Via Dolorosa, I desire a spirit of confidence in your goodness, a spirit of surrender to the will of my loving God in heaven, and a spirit of hope in the eternal life you have obtained for us. Amen.

01

1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus, you stood alone to hear your sentence before an angry crowd. You endured fear. You accepted the will of the Father. The sound of my diagnosis rings in my ears. It is deafening. Conquer the fear in my heart. Teach me to hope in your Resurrection.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

2nd Station: Jesus carries His cross

Jesus, you willingly picked up your cross. You chose to walk your way of sorrow. I know I must accept that I am sick. I cannot hide from it. I cannot ignore it. Give me courage to bear my cross as you bore yours — with loving surrender to God.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time

Jesus, you collapsed under the weight of the cross. Out of love for us, you rose and persevered. Sometimes the weight of what lies before me feels like too much to bear. When I feel overwhelmed, strengthen me. Help me to rise and glorify you, Jesus.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

4th Station: Jesus meets his mother

Jesus, your Blessed Mother met you on your way of sorrow. Her face radiated with a mother’s pain. The worry on the faces of my loved ones breaks my heart. Let Mary’s mantle of motherly consolation and fierce protection rest upon those who accompany me.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

Jesus, Simon walked behind you. He put his shoulder under the cross to lighten your burden. Let me be like Simon, walking closely in your footsteps. Fill my heart with gratitude for those who — in big and small ways — offer to ease my burden.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus, when your vision was clouded by sweat and blood St. Veronica tenderly wiped your face with her veil. Bless the nurses, doctors and other healthcare providers who comfort and care for my body. Help me to see your image in them.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

7th Station: Jesus falls the second time

Jesus, you were beaten and paraded as a criminal through the city that once welcomed and hailed you. You collapsed a second time. Your body was bruised and bleeding. Yet, you rose. You did not despair. Bless my priest and others who help guard my heart against despair. I desire to imitate your quiet perseverance and your trust in God.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

8th Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Jesus, you stopped on your Via Dolorosa to minister to the women of Jerusalem. Even in the midst of your own suffering, your heart was moved by the suffering of others. Use this difficult road I travel to teach me your compassion and empathy for all human suffering.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

9th Station: Jesus falls the third time

Jesus, you fell a final time before reaching Golgotha. You are the King of the Universe, yet you fell bloodied and exhausted on the dusty road. My Jesus, you were wounded by my sin and by the sin of all the world. In your pain, you spoke words of forgiveness. As I struggle with my illness, grant me a spirit of repentance for my sins and forgiveness for those who have caused me pain.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

10th Station: Jesus’ clothes are taken away

Jesus, those charged to carry out your torture and execution tried to humiliate and degrade you by taking your clothing. When I am weary of the intrusion of needles, hospital gowns and invasive tests, remind me of the indignity you willingly endured for the love of my soul. Teach me to offer these necessary intrusions with love to your Sacred Heart.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross 

Jesus, your arms were outstretched and nailed to the wood of the cross. Amidst the blinding pain, you clung to the Father. In my illness, I cling to you with all my might. When I am weak, when my faith wavers, when darkness feels close — cling to me, Jesus. You will not forsake me.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

12th Station: Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus, you breathed your last breath on the cross. The earth became dark and trembled. All creation mourned you. You died so that nothing can ever separate us from God. Jesus, I stand in awe of your cross. You suffered death to heal my soul. With boldness and trust, I ask you to heal my body if it is the will of God. Give me a heart that wants only what will bring you the greatest glory.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

13th Station: The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

Jesus, your body was removed from the cross and placed into the arms of your Blessed Mother. The arms that once cradled you as a little child held your lifeless form at the foot of the cross. By the saving power of your Passion, you have made Mary our Mother. Give me shelter in my Mother’s arms.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

01

14th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

Jesus, your Via Dolorosa ended in the grave.  Illness has made me face the stark reality that every human journey must end this way. Lord, help me to live every day in loving gratitude to you.  When my journey ends, grant that I may be welcomed into your kingdom as a good and faithful servant.

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary or pray in your own way.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, grant that by meditating on your way of sorrow I may be strengthened to walk mine.  I adore you.  I trust you. With firm hope in your Resurrection, I lay my life at the foot of your cross. Amen.

 

 
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The Author : Caitlin Kennell Kim
Caitlin Kennell Kim is a full-time baby wrangler, writer, and ponderer of all things theological. She earned her Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry and Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She currently lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and their four small children.
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