Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Jason on the Via Dolorosa
As I was driving home from my Mom's tonight, I was listening to Guadalupe Radio, the new Catholic radio station in San Antonio. At 10 PM Fr. Benedict Groeschel prays the rosary. Tonight he was praying the Glorious Mysteries, and I was trying to imagine how Mary must have felt when she learned of Jesus' resurrection and ascension. It is beyond comprehension. But thinking about it reminded me of a time in Jerusalem when I felt the tiniest inkling of what she must have felt during His passion.
I was blessed to visit the Holy Land in November, 2005 with my oldest son Jason. I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was to be there, and especially to share the experience with Jason. We went with a group from his church.
Above is a picture of Jason carrying the cross on the Via Dolorosa. One of the most moving moments of our trip happened there.
We were at the back of our group, and they asked Jason if he would like to carry the cross. He said he would and went up to the front to do so. As we began moving through the packed street, I realized that I wanted to get a picture and started trying to catch up, since I was still at the back of the crowd. I was hurrying and following him, pushing my way through the crowd, when suddenly the image of Mary following Jesus as He carried the cross from the movie, The Passion of the Christ, flashed through my mind. There was a huge pressure on my heart and I began to cry, still trying to make my way to the front. I remember thinking, "What if my Jason's cross was real, what if I was following the Messiah as He carried his cross through these streets." It seemed as if I could feel a tiny part of what Mary must have felt that day following her son, and even that small part was nearly unbearable.
I caught up and was behind Jason. I called his name and he turned just as I took the picture through a blur of tears. When we reached the next Station, which was a small chapel, Jason and I were among the first to enter and had to sit on a bench at the side of the altar. The rest of the group filed in and filled the rest of the benches in the chapel. I was sobbing and Jason leaned against me and put his arm around me. I whispered to him what I had felt, and he also began to sob. The people coming in saw us crying of course, since we were right up front, and most of them also started to cry. Even now, when I remember that day, my heart aches, but I thank God for the experience. It makes me feel even closer to our Blessed Mother and her Son.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.