Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The following is a reflection from an old book entitled, “Last Journey of the Redeemer; The Way of the Cross As It Is in Jerusalem” by the Rev. J. J. Begel, 1880. Interestingly the Imprimatur is by his Excellency R. Gilmore, from his Episcopal Residency, Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 10, 1880.

This station is made at the spot where the cross was planted, in a hole made in the rock on the very place where Jesus expired for the love of man. The station in which the cross was fixed is covered with a slab of marble having a corresponding hole of the same diameter, garnished on the interior with a ring of silver. Upon this base stands an altar . . .The wall behind the altar is decorated with rich ornaments, in the arrangement of which very little taste has been displayed. There is also a crucifix, with the Blessed Virgin and St. John in a standing attitude at its feet, the effect of which is terrible. Thirteen lamps are found on the first fifteen on the second plane, and the four corners of the altar-table are occupied by four candelabra.

We must say here, however, that the cavity which is at present at the summit of Calvary is not actually that in which the cross of the Savior was planted. After the conflagration in 1808, . . . the stone in which the true cross had been fixed (was sent to) Constantinople . . . and put another in its place. The true stone was lost by the wreck of the vessel which carried it.


It is about midday. Jesus is crucified. The moment the cross is raised the Temple reechoes the sound of the trumpets which celebrate the immolation of the paschal Lamb.

“Nothing,” says Catherine Emmerich, “could be more terrible, and at the same time more touching, than to see, in the midst of the insulting cries . . . the sacred cross now tottering a moment on its base, now sinking in the earth; but there arose towards it also voices of pity and devotion. The most holy souls in the world – the Blessed Mary, St. John, Mary Magdalene, the holy women, and all those whose hearts were pure – saluted with dolorous accents the Word Made Flesh elevated upon the cross, and lifted up towards Him their trembling hands, as if to aid Him in His sufferings. But when they dropped the cross with woeful sound into the hole of the rock, then there was a moment of solemn silence; the whole world seemed struck with a sensation never before experienced. . . The sacred cross was planted for the first time in the midst of the earth as another tree of life in paradise, and from the wounds of Jesus flowed out four sacred streams to fertilize the world and made of it the paradise of the new Adam.”


Here is an invitation from Paraclete Press. “You are invited to take part in a tradition that dates back to the eighth century, with the chanting of the Passion Narrative according to Saint John on Good Friday. Take half an hour apart from the events of the day, and listen to these sacred words, chanted by monastic members of the Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola in Gregorian chant.

"Hear the voices of the Narrator, Christ, and the Synagogue, in this noble narration which brings to life with a dramatic immediacy the events of the Passion, as the Gospel account unfolds. Meditate on the English translation as you listen, and allow the ancient language of the text, and the special Gregorian chant tone reserved especially for this holy season, to add a new depth and solemnity to your understanding of this familiar story.”
Click HERE to listen.

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