IX & X
My beloved Station X. It is in this station that the Lord has spoken to me like in no other. He calls me to Himself, in all of His self-giving. This station challenges me to greater obedience, self-sacrifice and ultimately-- to joy, in ways that I have trouble explaining.
The stripping of His garments is far more than the removal of His robes. It is the absolute disrobing of His dignity. He steps voluntarily into shame and humiliation...all for me, and you. Without hesitation, He lays aside all He is due as Divine Master of the Universe in order to prepare for what is to come. The utter detachment from self, what He is owed by mankind, what He is owed by me, is an example that is often too much for me to follow.
Leaving behind all pride, vanity and sensuality to follow in my Beloved’s footsteps is beyond my (or anyone’s) capability through mere human effort. We will fall. We, too, will falter and fail. We must come to Him, in our poor, weak, littleness-- throwing ourselves completely onto Him, confessing that we are unable to do it on our own. We must come to Him humbly in prayer, when detachment, (even of the thinnest earthly veil, anything we cling to other than Him, no matter how small) is asked of us. Jesus alone can make us like Himself in the little and the big. He will give us many opportunities to practice this virtue, with tiny asks daily, thus helping to create the habit of detachment, so that when the bigger asks come, by His grace we will have the spiritual muscle memory required to release our death grip on what we cling to so tightly. We must ask that HE DO THIS GREAT WORK THROUGH US. And when He does allow us, by His grace, to voluntarily lay aside all that keeps us earthbound...when we are given the grace to stop clinging and grasping to our false securities...we become more like the Divine Master of the Universe than at any other time. We are joined to Him in our nakedness, fully exposed, allowing only His love to be our covering.
Why did He do this and ask for us to do it too? For the joy that is to come. Absolute union with us is His joy, and ours as well!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Station IX: Jesus Falls For the Third Time
Meditation: Jesus, arriving exhausted at the foot of Calvary, falls for the third time. His weakness was extreme and the cruelty of His executioners was excessive; they tried to hasten His steps when He hardly has strength to move.
Prayer: O Lord, Jesus, I pray You, by the merits of this third painful fall, to forgive my frequent falls into sin and my slowness to rise and then return again to You. Let the remembrance of Your sufferings make me hate my sin more and more.
Station X: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
Meditation: Recall now how Jesus arrived at the place of His Crucifixion. The soldiers tore His clothes from His bleeding Body, leaving Him exposed to the cold, rude stare of the scoffing crowd.
Prayer: Innocent Jesus, by Your torment in being stripped of your clothing, help me to put off every inordinate attachment to the things of earth, so that I may give all my love to You, who are all worthy of my love.