A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Stations of the Cross

By Glen McCullough

The Stations of the Cross featured below are in the peaceful grounds of St Mary’s Church, Motuti on the northern shore of the Hokianga Harbour.  The church is the final resting place of Bishop Pompallier.  The stations themselves were originally at Futuna in Karori, Wellington.

1. Jesus is Condemned to Death

Lord, the temple establishment has had their way, and you are to die.  They couldn’t take the way you challenged them, and the final straw was when you claimed to be the son of God. They played into your hands, because it was your Father’s plan that you die for us.  Then the Jews had you scourged and pushed a crown of thorns on your head. What agony you suffered, even before you took up your cross. But you forgave them.Lord, help us to forgive our enemies, just as you did.

Motuti 1
2. Jesus Takes up His Cross

Jesus, when you took up your cross, you took up all the sinfulness of the world. What a heavy burden, which you knew you had to carry all the way to Calvary, step by painful step. The whip marks on your back and the crown of thorns must have been so painful.  The crowd was noisy and abusive, stirred up by the Temple hierarchy. It should have been a defeat, yet it was a triumphant struggle because you were doing your Father’s will.

Lord, help us to bear our troubles as lightly as you did on that day so long ago.

 Motuti 2

3. Jesus Falls for the First Time

Lord, you fell. The burden of our sins was so heavy, the road too rough, the pain unbearable, the crowd too oppressive. How often have I fallen, because I have a sinful nature and too often do not have the courage to do the right thing in the face of adversity. But you had the courage to get up, overcome the pain, and carry on.

Lord, next time I fail to have the courage to do what is right, help me to get back on my feet and try again.

Motuti 3

4. Jesus Meets His Mother

Jesus, what could you say to your Mother to comfort her? Did she know that your death was part of your Father’s plan for mankind? She must have suffered, following you amongst a hostile crowd.  She must have felt every step you took in agony, dreading what was to come. But she raced ahead and met you on the way, to show her unconditional support.

Blessed Mary, Mother of God, thank you for supporting your Son on his last walk.  Help us to follow His way as diligently.

Motuti 4

5. Simon the Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Jesus, when the soldiers became impatient with you, they forced Simon of Cyrene to carry your Cross. There were no friends prepared to help you, and that must have hurt. But you gladly accepted help from a stranger.

Lord, forgive me for the times I have not been ready to help my friends in need, and for the times I rejected help from friends or strangers.  Help me to be a willing giver and accept the Simons on my road.

Motuti 5

6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Jesus, it must have been difficult and dangerous for Veronica to brave the anger of the soldiers. But she had been following you, horrified at what had happened to you. What did you experience when Veronica wiped your dirty, bloody disfigured face? I am sure she held the cloth with your disfigured image close to her heart as you continued to your death.

Lord, you made me in your image. Help me to hold that image close to my heart, and not disfigure it by my sinfulness.

Motuti 6

7.  Jesus Falls a Second Time

Jesus, you stumbled and fell again, alone with no one to help you. Into the dust. For us.  It must have seemed an eternal walk for you, yet it was your destiny. How often have I stumbled and fallen? It seems impossible for me to do what is right all the time, until I remember that you fell so that I could be free to walk in your way, upright and full of courage because of your suffering.

Lord, help me to fulfill my own destiny and walk with you always.

Motuti 7

8.  Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Jesus’ women followers were not afraid to show their sorrow at His fate.  But He told them not to weep for Him, but for themselves and their children because the day was coming when they would wish they were childless because of the sins of Jerusalem.

Lord, it is easy to feel sorry for a sufferer, and to judge the sins of others. How much harder it is to see fault in myself. Lord, teach me that I am a sinner, and to forgive.

 Motuti 8

9. Jesus Falls the Third Time

Jesus, the pain and weariness became too much for you again. You could not move, until the prodding of the soldiers became too much and you began again on the path to your destiny and our salvation, step by painful step.

Lord, you fell three times. I fall all the time.  Lord, you have shown me all my life how I should walk.  When I fall, help me to pick myself up and keep walking, painful step by painful step just as you did.

 Motuti 9

10.  Jesus is Stripped of His Garments


Lord, in Psalm22, David foretold the manner of your death  even to the extent that “they took my clothes and gambled for them”. You must have stood there for all to see, exhausted, bloodied, bruised, scarred, and barely covered. All the sins of the world must have weighed you down, yet you still stood looking forward with courage to your destiny.

Jesus, through your Holy Spirit give me the courage to stand against adversity, just as you did on Calvary.

Motuti 10

11.  Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.

Lord, it wasn’t enough that they tie you to your cross; they had to nail you to it. In my imagination I can feel the hammer blows as they drove in the nails one by one. Not so bad on your hands, where the nails went between the bones, but they had to drive the nail through your insteps. It would be one blow for every one of my sins, only there were not enough blows to account for them all.

Lord, help me to never cause you pain again through my sinfulness.

Motuti 11

12.  Jesus Dies on the Cross

Jesus, so many things happened in the three hours it took you to die. The soldiers gave you vinegar to drink.  But they did not break your legs, and so fulfilled prophecy. You forgave the thief, gave your mother into John’s (and the church’s) safekeeping, and forgave those who consigned you to death, before you gave yourself up to your Father.   Your destiny was accomplished.

Lord, help me to be as forgiving as you were on the cross, and to fully understand that your sacrifice was for me.

Motuti 12

13.  Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Jesus, your destiny is almost complete and you can be taken down from your cross to be held in your mother’s arms. What sorrow she must have felt. Michelangelo caught her suffering when he fashioned the Pieta in St Peter’s Basilica, and many who see it for the first time weep with Mary. But we know you rose again to give us hope of eternal life with you and your Father in Heaven.

Lord, instill in me that hope of my resurrection.

Motuti 13

14.  Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Jesus, as they rolled the stone over your tomb they must have felt so alone.  They had no understanding that you would rise.  How alone and desolate they must have felt. I can feel for them, because of all the times in my life I have felt alone and desolate.

Lord, be with me in those times of desolation, when I forget that you rose again. Help me to be always aware that you are with me now and always.

 Motuti 14



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2 Responses »

  1. CORRECTION Motuti is in Hokianga Harbour -NOT MOTITI!

  2. Whoops! It has been corrected