The Way of the Cross
Javascript program for "Stations of the Cross" private devotion / thinking time. Suitable for Catholics and Protestants, or anyone just curious. Click on the crosses to follow the Way of the Cross.

The Way of the Cross -- Javascript


Chinese *
Joseph Fuhrich, Vienna
Line Drawings
Medieval Book of Hours *
Modern Painting
Mosaics (Kirlich)
Roman Catholic, Traditional
Saint Martin's, Munich, UK
Saint Patrick's, Birstall, UK
Saint Raphael's, UK
Small Clip Art
Vatican Museum *

* John Paul II Bible-Only sequence


Catholic Life
Christian Classics -- non-denominational
Mother Angelica's Meditations
Mount Carmel Academy -- brief
Popular / Modern

John Paul II

Traditional 14
Bible Only -- 8 stations

Bible Only -- John Paul II


This program allows you to make the Stations / Way of the Cross. This is a traditional Christian devotion best-known from Roman Catholic and High Anglican use. It is now finding some use by other Christian denominations. You do not have to profess the Christian faith and/or believe in the supernatural to find reflecting on this historic event worth a little time.

The devotion began as stops for pilgrims in Jerusalem, who would walk the path where the events were said to have occurred. Some people say something that's been prepared. Others simply think, or say whatever seems right and good.

Many people have found this series especially helpful because it is visceral. Yes, it's a sequence of atrocity scenes. Only love can enable someone to go through this without breaking. And even some nonbelievers have agreed with me that Jesus (rather than Socrates, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, or anyone else) made love of others the central principle of living.

Some men will see a tough construction worker turned fellow-soldier, captured in a war against the corruption (always present) in organized religion and in an occupying power (Rome). Only a really strong man can not only survive this, but forgive rather than hate his captors. The man in the pictures focused on kindness to others -- even strangers -- rather than the ______ of conventional piety. Plus, you're very tough yourself, too much so to be a bully like some of the Romans may have been. You're every bit as brave, but you fight for what's right. (By the way, men -- most secular scholars join me in concluding that the "hard sayings", especially the impossible standards for sexuality, are stray rabbinic sayings that somehow got into the texts, rather than authentic words of the Master.)

Some women will focus on the rich interplay of emotion and personalities. If you recall the back-stories on Mary, Pilate, John, and Mary Magdalene, it will help. Mary of Clopas, also at the foot of the cross, was probably the wife of Joseph's brother. All have a host of different feelings. You can fill in what the soldiers are thinking. Their emotions must have been mixed. Judas isn't here, but he's also conflicted. He may have turned informant to avoid prosecution and gotten a small payment, as the police still do to help "turn" an informant, but had the courage not just to point but to hug/kiss -- "Hey, old friend, I'm really sad it's ended like this." Peter and most of the other disciples are hoping to avoid being noticed and feeling horrible about it. James, a family member, is not yet a believer and is back in Nazareth. He strongly suspects something bad will happen to his brother. He will become the movement's interim leader after the risen Lord appears to him, while he remains a hugely respected and liked member of the rest of the Jewish community.

Many people have expressed many different ideas about the Way of the Cross. Life has taught me is that any spiritual exercise is worthwhile if and only if it helps with the daily struggle to be good and decent to whoever we meet on our own roads through life. "The Way of the Cross" is a guts-ball brain workout that I have found helpful -- especially in making me want to be less of a jerk. Your experience may be different. If you use the suggested prayers, you won't be able to focus 100%. But you won't just be wasting your time hypnotizing yourself like the people who sit and repeat nonsense syllables or stare into candle flames.

And a few people who have tried "The Way of the Cross" have had totally-unexpected spiritual experiences that can't be described, but turn their lives around for the better permanently. Maybe these are supernatural. You have been warned.

Diocese of Palm Beach -- Roman Catholic but suitable for all Christians; highly recommended.
Saint Patrick's
Food for the Poor -- a NGO uses the stations to speak of world need
Mother Angelica's Meditations
CRI/Voice -- 8 stations, Protestant
Trinity Lutheran -- 14 stations begin with Christ's arrest
Christian Classics
Creighton U. Chaplains
Catholic Spiritual Direction -- historical background / novelization
Cardinal Newman
Krilich Mosaics
For Children -- adults too
Alternative Stations -- John Paul II's scripture-based sequence
Alternative Stations -- John Paul II's scripture-based sequence
Alternative Stations -- John Paul II's scripture-based sequence
Alternative Stations -- local variant on John Paul II's scripture-based sequence
Liberation Theology -- make of this whatever seems right to you
Scriptural Way of the Cross -- for Catholics and Protestants, by John Paul II
The Pope's Stations -- year by year
Inking for Jesus -- a Protestant (!) pastor urges members to get one station tattooed on themselves for Lent

If you have found this site helpful, I would invite you to join me each Wednesday in praying for the mental and spiritual health of Mel Gibson.

Ed Friedlander MD
November 28, 2010
First Sunday of Advent -- happy new year

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