Here is Part 1 (of 3) of the Way of the Cross given to me by Fr. Fields. After scouring the Internet for a site where copies of these Stations could be purchased, I’ve concluded that the booklet is out-of-print. I reproduce it here in the hope that readers will find it an aid to their prayer this Holy Week. No copyright infringement is intended.
Love’s Way of the Cross:
Love Revealed in the Stations of the Cross
By Emmanuel Maria Heufelder, O.S.B., Abbot of Niederalteich
Translated from the German by a Benedictine Monk
Doyle and Finegan – Collegeville, Minnesota – 1955
Nihil Obstat: Rev. Gregory J. Roettger, O.S.B., Censor Deputatis
February 18, 1955
Imprimatur: + Petrus G. Bartholome, Bishop of St. Cloud
February 19, 1955
“This is My commandment; love one another as I love you.” John 15:12
Everyone who loves must walk the way of the Cross, just as He who taught love and who is Love has walked the way of the Cross. These stations are the testing time of love.
Lord, I will let my soul review in quiet contemplation those hours which tested Your love as gold is tried in the fire. I will make the stations of Your love to test and measure the extent of my own love.
Jesus Allows Himself to Be Condemned to Death
“No one can give a greater proof of his love than by laying down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
With a love unto death Christ has loved us. “We know what love is from the fact that Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” And with the same great love we must love one another. “We, too, ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16). As long as we are not ready for this, as long as we are not determined to sacrifice ourselves for others as completely as the Savior did, we have not yet “the great love.”
O Lord, how small is my love when I measure it against the vastness of Yours! I should be ready to give my life; how much more ready, then, to give what is less than life. What I have and what I am – my strength and talents, my time, my possessions – all should be bent upon the service of my brethren, belonging more to them than to me.
Lord, help me to love my neighbor “not merely in word or with the tongue, but in action, in reality” (1 John 3:18). Help me to love with that “great love” unto death with which You have loved me.
Jesus Takes the Cross on His Shoulders
“Love is long-suffering; love bears everything.” 1 Cor. 13:4, 7
“Love bears everything,” even the cross which our neighbor imposes; bears it not complainingly, not unwillingly, but patiently and with resignation – yes, with joy, as the Savoir carried His cross. Love rejoices when it can bear another’s burden and so fulfill Christ’s law of love, as the Apostle bids (Gal. 6:2).
What is the burden that we should carry for our neighbor? St. Benedict tells us in his holy Rule (ch. 72), when he exhorts his monks “most patiently to endure one another’s infirmities, whether of body or of character.” Everyone has his weaknesses and miseries, bodily defects and faults of character, and suffers frequently enough because of them. We should help our brother to carry his burden “most patiently,” with that patient, all-sustaining love which made the Savoir carry His cross: mankind’s burden of sin and pain, for the salvation of all.
My Savior and Redeemer, give me Your long-suffering love! Give me the love that bears all, and so let me be with You a savior and redeemer for my suffering neighbor.
Jesus Falls the First Time under the Cross
“Love will never end.” 1 Cor. 13:8
It is terrible and yet wonderful what divine Love is willing to suffer at the hands of men. It lets Itself be mocked, abused, crushed, tormented with inconceivable tortures, and still It does not cease. “Love never fails.”
Only a love that seeks itself more than its neighbor will give way to disaffection and hate if it is not returned.
True love never ceases. On the contrary, it converts the pain inflicted by the loved one into a sacrifice for him, a redemptive offering to free him from his selfishness. As long as we do not act thus, we have not yet true love.
Lord, give me Your selfless love, which never ends!
Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother
“Love endures everything.” 1 Cor. 13:7
Mary is the model of all who have true love. For this is the perfect love, to walk beside the Savior as He carries His cross, to suffer and endure everything with Him and through Him, to sacrifice everything, even what is most precious, even a treasure on which one has set one’s heart. “Most gladly,” says true love, “will I spend myself and be spend to the limit for the sake of your souls” (2 Cor. 12:15), to make reparation and petition, in union with the Savior, like Mary.
O Mary, mother of fair love, mother of sorrows, teach me this true love!