Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Station V: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross.

This is part five of a series of posts on the Stations of the Cross. Here are Stations I and II and III and IV.

I've already thought a lot about Simon. I especially love this reflection from Mother Angelica: "Simon wondered, as he took those beams upon his shoulders, why he was chosen for such a heavy burden, and now he knows. Help me, Jesus, to trust Your loving Providence as you permit suffering to weave itself in and out of my life. Make me understand that You looked at it and held it fondly before You passed it on to me. You watch me and give me strength, just as You did Simon. When I enter Your Kingdom, I shall know, as he knows, what marvels Your Cross has wrought in my soul."

Simon encounters the cross passively at first. He is pressed into service by the soldiers and made to carry the cross. As Mother says, he "wonders."

But there is a possibility that, as he drew near Calvary, Simon began to embrace the cross. Mel Gibson (okay, yes, I know he went downhill again, but that doesn't totally eradicate his art) imagines a scene in which Simon decides to make the cross his own. He looks on Christ with pity, even if without understanding.

We don't know if this happened or not: the revelation of Scripture does not mention it. The scene, however, may become real in our own lives. If I can allow my heart to be softened, to go beyond my fear and frustration, then Simon will live in me.

And, like Simon, I, too, will understand someday what marvels the cross of Christ has wrought in my soul.

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