|In This Issue|
"La Via Crucis - The Way Of The Cross"
This devotion arose first in Jerusalem, among early Christians who dwelt there, out of veneration for those sacred spots which were sanctified by the sufferings of our Divine Redeemer. Some early writers and some mystics of the Church have said that the Blessed Mother herself first began this devotion. From the Holy City this devout exercise was introduced into Europe. When, in 1342, the Franciscans established their house in Jerusalem, and undertook custody of the sacred places of the Holy Land, they began to spread throughout the entire Catholic world the devotion to the Way of the Cross. Great Saints throughout history have counseled that meditation on the Passion and Death of Our Lord is the most fruitful that one can engage in.
Among the versions of the Way of the Cross, the best known today is that popularized by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri about the year 1761. Beloved Saint and Doctor of the Church, Alphonsus Ligouri wrote: "The pious exercise of the Way of the Cross represents the
sorrowful journey that Jesus Christ made with the cross on His shoulders, to die on Calvary for the love of us. We should, therefore, practice this devotion with the greatest possible fervor, placing ourselves in spirit beside our Savior as He walked this sorrowful way, uniting our tears with His, and offering to Him both our compassion and our gratitude."
Books for Lent and Holy Week:
Author: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Author: Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
Author: Caryll Houselander
Authors: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict, XVI
Author: Angela M. Burrin
|The School Of Jesus Crucified: The Lessons Of Calvary In Daily Catholic Life
Author: Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, Passionist
|Stations Of The Cross - Stations Of Light
Author: Ann Ball
Author: Francis X. Gaeta
To view our complete selection of books for Lent and Holy Week, please click here:
On February 22, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Here is a selection of books on the Petrine Ministry, the Ministry of the Holy Father:
Author: Stephen K. Ray
Authors: Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, Rev. Mr. David Hess
| Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy
Author: Patrick Madrid
| Papal Primacy in the Third Millenium
Author: Russell Shaw
A selection of religious gift items for the season of Lent:
|The Pieta Framed Print
By William Bouguereau
|Russian Wall Crucifix Icon|
We carry books by Father Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., Preacher to the Papal Household and to Pope Benedict XVI
|Contemplating the Trinity: The Path to the Abundant
Author: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.
Author: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap.
| To see a
Here at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods we are reaching out to the greater Catholic community of churches to serve the needs of all faithful Christians who are in communion with the Holy See, Rome.
To this end, we have just launched our new "Eastern Catholicism" specialty store carrying over 200 items with appeal, in this early stage, primarily to Byzantine Rite Catholics who comprise the majority of Eastern Catholics here in the United States.
In the coming weeks and months, you will see our Eastern Catholicism specialty store grow. We hope to be able to become the definitive online source for Eastern Catholic goods in the U.S.
In 1731, about 400 years after the Way of the Cross became widely popular, Pope Clement XII fixed the number of Stations of the Cross at fourteen as we know them today, and permitted indulgenced stations to be erected in every church, provided that they were erected by a Franciscan with the permission of the local bishop.
Now, after the Second Vatican Council, the Way of the Cross is still indulgenced. According to the Enchiridion (handbook) of Indulgences, "a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross." To gain the spiritual benefits of the Way of the Cross, one has to follow the four norms outlined in the Enchiridion. First, one must follow the Way of the Cross in the presence of Stations that have been legitimately (canonically) erected. Second, fourteen crosses themselves are required, to which, adds the Enchiridion, "it is customary to add fourteen pictures or images representing the stations of Jerusalem." Third, the Enchiridion notes that common practice is that "the pious exercises consist of fourteen pious readings, to which some prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of Our Lord." Fourth, and finally, "a movement from one station to the next is required" - if the devotion is being performed publicly, then the one conducting the exercise may be the one moving from station to station, while the faithful remain in their places.
The fourteen Stations of the Cross are:
- Christ is condemned to death
- the cross is laid upon Him
- His first fall
- He meets His Blessed Mother
- Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross
- Christ's face is wiped by Veronica
- His second fall
- He meets the women of Jerusalem
- His third fall
- He is stripped of His garments
- His is crucified
- His death on the cross
- His body is taken down from the cross
- He is laid in the tomb.
(The following is the third in a series of talks by one of our staff relating the amazing healing power and love of God in her life. To read the previous artlcles, click this link.)
"The truth is that we cannot remain prisoners of the past; people need a sort of healing of memories” so that past evils will not come back again. This does not mean forgetting past events; it means reexamining them with a new attitude and learning precisely from the experience of suffering that only love can build upwards, whereas hatred produces only devastation and ruin.”
--from Lessons for Living by John Paul II
Have you ever felt so completely alone in this world? I believe this is when we find our Lord ever closer to us. When I heard myself say aloud, “I hate you, God”, I was shaken to my very core. Hatred is born of fear and fear is not of God. The very God I said I hated was about to teach me all about love.
“What did my family do to deserve this?”, I asked. But, in reality, had it not been my family, it would have been another family, perhaps even your family, and I would never wish this kind of suffering on another human being. Yet, brothers and sisters all around
us in this world have faced and are facing terrible trauma and suffering in their lives every day. So many people are affected in this life by the wrong choices of others. Evil will always exist and human beings, having been given the gift of free will by God, will either choose in Love or in Fear. We all have made wrong choices in life and our loving Father always invites us back to set things right. This kind of love is all but impossible for our finite minds to comprehend; to be loved with no conditions. Yet, this is how God loves each and every one of us. And, as I was to learn, all I had to do was begin to open my heart and allow Him to enter with His all powerful love, compassion and mercy.
I began to pray. And I wept. I prayed some more. And I wept. I prayed even more. And I began to look to the Blessed Mother. And through my tears, I contemplated her life – a life of love, a life of suffering, a life given over so completely to the will of God. I found a beautiful book entitled "The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics", compiled by Raphael Brown. This book was quite possibly the most beautiful love story I've ever read. Having lost my earthly mother, I sought the love and guidance of our Heavenly Mother and she would become for me the source of strength and courage that would bring me into a deeper relationship with her Son, our Savior and God.
God bless you,