BOB ABERNETHY, anchor (March 18, 2005): Now, Belief and Practice. This Holy Week, Western Christians remember Jesus’ crucifixion, and the days leading up to it. One of the most moving observances, especially for Catholics, is walking the 14 Stations of the Cross, each one representing an event as Jesus carried his cross to Calvary, where he was put to death. We observed the practice at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington with Marjorie Dannenfelser and her children, Hanna and Joseph.
Offscreen Voice: As we now gather to follow Jesus’ Passion, to his life-giving death, let’s begin in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
MARJORIE DANNENFELSER: The way of the cross is an opportunity to enter in the Passion of Christ. To be there during his condemnation, to be there during his suffering.
All your senses can be activated in order to understand exactly what Christ was going through. So as Christ was going along, the weight of the cross is getting heavier and heavier and you can be in that moment.
Then we kneel down. You can almost feel the weight of the cross. So you can feel that, in a sense, a little bit of the fatigue.
HANNA DANNENFELSER: My favorite is probably Veronica. When Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
JOSEPH DANNENFELSER: She was the only person out of the crowd to do it.
My favorite station is Simon helps him carry the cross because he just helped Jesus bring it to the top of that hill in Galilee.
M. DANNENFELSER: We go through the struggle and each of the steps of the way of the cross. We fall down with Christ, he gets up again, we fall down with him again, he gets up again. Three times he falls down.
What I hope to bring away from the Stations of the Cross and what I hope that my children learn is that Christ never leaves us. There is no suffering that he just doesn’t get and there is no joy that he just doesn’t get.
At the end of the stations, all this sense of suffering leads up to an epiphany and a joy — a joy we can’t even fathom.
If we live every day in Easter, then we can find Christ everywhere. In the Stations of the Cross you are actually showing up where he is. It is hard to deny him after that.
Jesus, I am yours in life and death. Amen.