The Stations of the Cross represents a love story and is a devotional prayer of what God the Father did through His son, Jesus Christ. Preparing my adopted 14-year-old developmentally disabled son for Baptism, we toured our Catholic Church. Starting at the statue of Jesus, he touched the wounds on Jesus hands and feet and asked about Jesus wounded heart. Explaining His heart represents love and courage, Jesus Sacred Heart is wounded because people reject His love by sinning and not believing in God. Inviting my son to walk with Jesus through the Stations of the Cross, I encouraged him to see Jesus courage and love for us. We spoke of how Jesus taught what God wanted man to know about His Father, and why people wanted to kill him, what crucifixion was, and before they crucified Jesus, they whipped Him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and a purple robe to make fun of Him as a King.
At Station One where Jesus is condemned, I said, although it was not fair, Jesus did not complain when they didn’t understand him. Still, Jesus forgave them. When Pontius Pilate told the crowd Jesus was a good man, he still gave Jesus to the soldiers to be crucified, because this was what His people wanted. Then Jesus had to carry his own heavy cross. When Jesus fell under the heavy weight, my son looked sadly at that Station. When he saw Jesus and Mary looking at each other, a tear trickled down his cheek and he looked up at me. My son furrowed his brow when soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus cross because they did not want Him to die before they crucified Him. When Veronica wiped Jesus face, fell again, met the women, and fell a third time, my son looked at me and asked, “Jesus did this all for me?”
When Jesus garments were bartered and they nailed Him to the cross, a range of emotions visibly swept over my son’s face. The Stations showing Jesus death, being removed from the cross, and laid in the tomb, my son quietly made the sign of the cross and turned away. As we knelt at the Tabernacle, I told him Jesus rose from the dead after three days and we discussed the Last Supper, and that the bread and wine consecrated by the priest during Mass was the living Body and Blood of Christ. We spoke of the meaning of the bells during the consecration. My son asked if the Tabernacle was a tomb and by the time we prayed I knew he understood Jesus was actually in the Tabernacle and someday could receive Him in Communion.
At the Baptismal Font, we discussed how sin came into the world and how baptism washes it away. We discussed the altar and why the priest kisses it. We lit a candle for his deceased brother, praying for his soul. We entered the face-to-face confessional, initially not liking the idea of telling a priest his sins. After understanding that telling your sins to Jesus, In Persona Christi, allows sins to be forgiven and forgotten because Jesus died on the cross, he liked the idea of Reconciliation.
During our time at church, no one entered until we were leaving. Lingering and gazing at the large crucifix over the altar, we then both genuflected. Afterwards, my son asked why the cross was not “blank” like in Protestant churches. I said, “I love looking at Jesus on the cross because it reminds me of what He did for us when he died on the cross so we can go to be with God in heaven when we die.” After a long silence, I said, “You do know, because He was God, Jesus could have simply shed a tear instead of dying on the cross and we could go to heaven when we die if we love and obey Him?” My son looked at me, tilted his head, eyes sparkling, and asserted, “But mom! With only a tear, then we would not have known how much He loved us.”
About Annette Krulisky
Annette Krulisky, earned a Master of Arts in Adult/K-12 Education in Curriculum Design, worked in the computer field as an engineer and technical trainer for 25 years, is married for over 30 years, and has seven adopted special needs children. Now retired, still cares for six children ages teenage to adult. Earned a black belt in a Korean form of martial arts, Kuk Sool Won, having practiced this art for over ten years. Grew up in Michigan as Fundamental Baptist protestant. Aunt Mary planted the seed of the Catholic Church at an early age. She began the final journey home to the Catholic Church in 2012, and love the depth and fullness of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church Jesus founded. Besides loving family, martial arts, and praying, also love reading, learning, experiencing, and writing about anything Catholic.