Sunday, February 24, 2013

How to Pray the Stations of the Cross

This is a wonderful meditation for Lent as well as for any other time of the year.   On a personal note,  I converted to Catholicism after praying the Stations of the Cross every day for Lent 20 years ago.   So the Stations hold a very special place in my heart.

Sometimes known as the Stations of the Cross rosary, this chaplet consists of 14 medals separated by 3 beads.   Each of the medals depicts one of the Stations and is often numbered as well to make it easy to keep your place while praying.  The chaplet also has a “pendant” comprised of a crucifix and 6 beads.

Crucifix:  Pray the Apostle’s Creed

First Bead: Pray and Act of Contrition
My God,
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His Name, my God, have mercy.   Amen

Second Bead: A Prayer to Christ Crucified.  
Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself on my knees in Your sight and with the most fervent desire of my soul, I pray and beg you to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm desire of amendment, while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Your five most precious wounds: having before my eyes that which David spoke in prophecy:  They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones.”  Amen
Third Bead: A prayer for the Deceased
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them: and may all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  Amen.

Fourth Bead:   Pray the Our Father

Fifth Bead:  Pray one Hail Mary

Sixth Bead: Pray one Glory Be

First Station of the Cross: Jesus is Condemned to Death

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
THE Holy, Just, and True was judged by sinners, and put to death. Yet, while they judged, they were compelled to acquit Him. Judas, who betrayed Him, said, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." Pilate, who sentenced Him, said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person," and threw the guilt upon the Jews. The Centurion who saw Him crucified said, "Indeed this was a just man." Thus ever, O Lord, Thou art justified in Thy words, and dost overcome when Thou art judged. And so, much more, at the last day "They shall look on Him whom they pierced"; and He who was condemned in weakness shall judge the world in power, and even those who are condemned will confess their judgment is just.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


The Second Station: Jesus receives His Cross

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
JESUS supports the whole world by His divine power, for He is God; but the weight was less heavy than was the Cross which our sins hewed out for Him. Our sins cost Him this humiliation. He had to take on Him our nature, and to appear among us as a man, and to offer up for us a great sacrifice. He had to pass a life in penance, and to endure His passion and death at the end of it. O Lord God Almighty, who dost bear the weight of the whole world without weariness, who bore the weight of all our sins, though they wearied Thee, as Thou art the Preserver of our bodies by Thy Providence, so be Thou the Saviour of our souls by Thy precious blood.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be & C

The Third Station: Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross the first time

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
SATAN fell from heaven in the beginning; by the just sentence of his Creator he fell, against whom he had rebelled. And when he had succeeded in gaining man to join him in his rebellion, and his Maker came to save him, then his brief hour of triumph came, and he made the most of it. When the Holiest had taken flesh, and was in his power, then in his revenge and malice he determined, as he himself had been struck down by the Almighty arm, to strike in turn a heavy blow at Him who struck him. Therefore it was that Jesus fell down so suddenly. O dear Lord, by this Thy first fall raise us all out of sin, who have so miserably fallen under its power.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be & C


The Fourth Station: Jesus meets His Mother

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
THERE is no part of the history of Jesus but Mary has her part in it. There are those who profess to be His servants, who think that her work was ended when she bore Him, and after that she had nothing to do but disappear and be forgotten. But we, O Lord, Thy children of the Catholic Church, do not so think of Thy Mother. She brought the tender infant into the Temple, she lifted Him up in her arms when the wise men came to adore Him. She fled with Him to Egypt, she took Him up to Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for thirty years. She was with Him at the marriage-feast. Even when He had left her to preach, she hovered about Him. And now she shows herself as He toils along the Sacred Way with His cross on His shoulders. Sweet Mother, let us ever think of thee when we think of Jesus, and when we pray to Him, ever aid us by thy powerful intercession.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be & C


The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
JESUS could bear His Cross alone, did He so will; but He permits Simon to help Him, in order to remind us that we must take part in His sufferings, and have a fellowship in His work. His merit is infinite, yet He condescends to let His people add their merit to it. The sanctity of the Blessed Virgin, the blood of the Martyrs, the prayers and penances of the Saints, the good deeds of all the faithful, take part in that work which, nevertheless, is perfect without them. He saves us by His blood, but it is through and with ourselves that He saves us. Dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, make it pleasant to us to suffer for Thy sake, and sanctify all our sufferings by the merits of Thy own.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be & C


The Sixth Station: The Face of Jesus is wiped by Veronica

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
JESUS let the pious woman carry off an impression of His Sacred Countenance, which was to last to future ages. He did this to remind us all, that His image must ever be impressed on all our hearts. Whoever we are, in whatever part of the earth, in whatever age of the world, Jesus must live in our hearts. We may differ from each other in many things, but in this we must all agree, if we are His true children. We must bear about with us the napkin of St. Veronica; we must ever meditate upon His death and resurrection, we must ever imitate His divine excellence, according to our measure. Lord, let our countenances be ever pleasing in Thy sight, not defiled with sin, but bathed and washed white in Thy precious blood.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be & C


The Seventh Station: Jesus falls a second time

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
SATAN had a second fall, when our Lord came upon earth. By that time he had usurped the dominion of the whole world—and he called himself its king. And he dared to take up the Holy Saviour in his arms, and show Him all kingdoms, and blasphemously promise to give them to Him, His Maker, if He would adore him. Jesus answered, "Begone, Satan!"—and Satan fell down from the high mountain. And Jesus bare witness to it when He said, "I saw Satan, as lightning, falling from heaven." The Evil One remembered this second defeat, and so now he smote down the Innocent Lord a second time, now that he had Him in his power. O dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, and not be afraid of Satan's buffetings, when they come on us from resisting him.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.

The Eighth Station: The Women of Jerusalem mourn for Our Lord

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
EVER since the prophecy of old time, that the Saviour of man was to be born of a woman of the stock of Abraham, the Jewish women had desired to bear Him. Yet, now that He was really come, how different, as the Gospel tells us, was the event from what they had expected. He said to them "that the days were coming when they should say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts which have not given suck." Ah, Lord, we know not what is good for us, and what is bad. We cannot foretell the future, nor do we know, when Thou comest to visit us, in what form Thou wilt come. And therefore we leave it all to Thee. Do Thou Thy good pleasure to us and in us. Let us ever look at Thee, and do Thou look upon us, and give us the grace of Thy bitter Cross and Passion, and console us in Thy own way and at Thy own time.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
SATAN will have a third and final fall at the end of the world, when he will be shut up for good in the everlasting fiery prison. He knew this was to be his end—he has no hope, but despair only. He knew that no suffering which he could at that moment inflict upon the Saviour of men would avail to rescue himself from that inevitable doom. But, in horrible rage and hatred, he determined to insult and torture while he could the great King whose throne is everlasting. Therefore a third time he smote Him down fiercely to the earth. O Jesus, Only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we adore with fear and trembling and deep thankfulness Thy awful humiliation, that Thou who art the Highest, should have permitted Thyself, even for one hour, to be the sport and prey of the Evil One.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of His Garments

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
JESUS would give up everything of this world, before He left it. He exercised the most perfect poverty. When He left the Holy House of Nazareth, and went out to preach, He had not where to lay His head. He lived on the poorest food, and on what was given to Him by those who loved and served Him. And therefore He chose a death in which not even His clothes were left to Him. He parted with what seemed most necessary, and even a part of Him, by the law of human nature since the fall. Grant us in like manner, O dear Lord, to care nothing for anything on earth, and to bear the loss of all things, and to endure even shame, reproach, contempt, and mockery, rather than that Thou shalt be ashamed of us at the last day.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
JESUS is pierced through each hand and each foot with a sharp nail. His eyes are dimmed with blood, and are closed by the swollen lids and livid brows which the blows of His executioners have caused. His mouth is filled with vinegar and gall. His head is encircled by the sharp thorns. His heart is pierced with the spear. Thus, all His senses are mortified and crucified, that He may make atonement for every kind of human sin. O Jesus, mortify and crucify us with Thee. Let us never sin by hand or foot, by eyes or mouth, or by head or heart. Let all our senses be a sacrifice to Thee; let every member sing Thy praise. Let the sacred blood which flowed from Thy five wounds anoint us with such sanctifying grace that we may die to the world, and live only to Thee.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies upon the Cross

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
“It is finished!”   It is completed—it has come to a full end. The mystery of God's love towards us is accomplished. The price is paid, and we are redeemed. The Eternal Father determined not to pardon us without a price, in order to show us special favor. He condescended to make us valuable to Him. What we buy we put a value on. He might have saved us without a price—by the mere fiat of His will. But to show His love for us He took a price, which, if there was to be a price set upon us at all, if there was any ransom at all to be taken for the guilt of our sins, could be nothing short of the death of His Son in our nature. O my God and Father, Thou hast valued us so much as to pay the highest of all possible prices for our sinful souls—and shall we not love and choose Thee above all things as the one necessary and one only good?
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the arms of His Blessed Mother

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
HE is Thy property now, O Virgin Mother, once again, for He and the world have met and parted. He went out from Thee to do His Father's work—and He has done and suffered it. Satan and bad men have now no longer any claim upon Him—too long has He been in their arms. Satan took Him up aloft to the high mountain; evil men lifted Him up upon the Cross. He has not been in Thy arms, O Mother of God, since He was a child—but now thou hast a claim upon Him, when the world has done its worst. For thou art the all-favoured, all-blessed, all-gracious Mother of the Highest. We rejoice in this great mystery. He has been hidden in thy womb, He has lain in thy bosom, He has been suckled at thy breasts, He has been carried in thy arms—and now that He is dead, He is placed upon thy lap. Virgin Mother of God, pray for us.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, & C.


The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the Sepulchre

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee.
R. Because by thy holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world..
JESUS, when He was nearest to His everlasting triumph, seemed to be farthest from triumphing. When He was nearest upon entering upon His kingdom, and exercising all power in heaven and earth, He was lying dead in a cave of the rock. He was wrapped round in burying-clothes, and confined within a sepulchre of stone, where He was soon to have a glorified spiritual body, which could penetrate all substances, go to and fro quicker than thought, and was about to ascend on high. Make us to trust in thee, O Jesus, that Thou wilt display in us a similar providence. Make us sure, O Lord, that the greater is our distress, the nearer we are to Thee. The more men scorn us, the more Thou dost honour us. The more men insult over us, the higher Thou wilt exalt us. The more they forget us, the more Thou dost keep us in mind. The more they abandon us, the closer Thou wilt bring us to Thyself.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be,  and C.
Cardinal John Henry Newman


The pendant meditations from “My Treasury of Chaplets by Patricia S. Quintiliani

Meditations for the Fourteen Stations were written by Cardinal John Henry Newman 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stations of the Cross Chaplet

In honor of Lent I am offering another Stations of the Cross chaplet.   It is very much like the chaplet I posted earlier in the week except that the beads are 5mm by 6mm Hematite.   Hematite is also known as The Bloodstone, Hema being derived from the Greek word for blood.   It seems strange that a stone, a mineral actually, that is a shiny, silvery gray color should be known as the Bloodstone.  However, if you break a piece of Hematite open, the center of it is red.   What stone can be more appropriate to use to meditate on the Via Crucis where Christ shed his scared blood for us.   Please click here to learn more about this chaplet and please visit my shop to see more of my unbreakable rosaries and chaplets. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I'm Not Coming Back!

                                 I’m going to follow God,
                                 I’m not coming back
                                                                Navajo Saying

How many times have we ever gone someplace and realized that we would never be coming back?  I know I haven’t.   Most people, when they plan a trip, almost always plan a return trip.   The return may not be immediate.   In fact, it may be many years down the road.   However, we almost always plan to come back home.   

I read this powerful little quote in a newsletter named “Raven’s Bread”.   It is a Navajo poem and was sent in by a woman who was sharing her thoughts on it.   I will be forever in this woman’s debt.

This little quote has had a huge impact on me.  The first line is something I’ve heard countless times in my Christian journey, said by myself and many other people who love the Lord and want to follow Him.   However, the second line of this little poem really struck me.  I never realized that when you follow the Lord, there is no return trip, there is no coming back, there is no going home.  

How I managed to miss that one is beyond me…it is all over the gospels.   Jesus said it most blatantly when He told Peter to let the dead bury the dead.  Nevertheless, miss it I did.  It made me realize that in my journey with the Lord I had been holding onto things…things in my past…things I thought I needed…things that made me feel safe.  It was like I was hedging my bets without realizing it.

As I thought about all this, I just decided to let it all go…throw it all to the wind and follow the Lord without reservation, without holding on, without “things”.  It gave me the first taste of freedom that I had in a long time.  How good it feels to say “I’m not coming back!”

I would love to know what your thoughts are on this little poem.   Please write a comment and let me know if it has any impact on you and please share what that impact may be.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stations of the Cross Chaplet

Also known as the Via Dolorosa or Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross is one of the most meaningful ways to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord.

While most chaplets honoring the Way of the Cross which have medals, this chaplet has finely detailed sculptural images depicting the individual stations. They are comprised of silver colored metal. The beads are black onyx which are in keeping with the solemn nature of the Stations. The black beads represent our sinful nature and our penance. The red beads on the connectors represent the Blood of Christ which was shed for us. Appropriately, at the center of it all is the Sacred Heart of Jesus because it is His heart and His love for us which led Him to sacrifice Himself for us. The crucifix shows Mary the Mother of Jesus and John the Apostle at the foot of the cross. Please note the third and fourth pictures depict 12 of the 14 Stations. This will give you an idea of what they look like.  Please click here to learn more about this chaplet and please visit to view more of my unbreakable rosaries and chaplets.

Monday, February 11, 2013

St Kateri Tekakwitha Rosary

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be beatified. She was born in 1656. As young girl, she contracted small pox and her face was terribly disfigured by the disease. She converted to Catholicism as a young woman and because of this she was shunned by her tribe. She suffered greatly because of her faith. She was devoted to the Eucharist and cared for the sick and elderly. Like St. Therese, she died at the tender age of 24. After she died, the terrible scars from the small pox disappeared leaving her skin smooth and unmarred. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and she will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct 21, 2012. She is the patron of the environment and ecology.

I love the Aves in this rosary. They are 8mm reconstituted howlite and are predominately blue with small patches of tan and black veins. The remind me of little stained glass windows or even mosaics. The Pater beads accent the Aves very nicely. They are comprised of 8mm black onyx beads flanked by 6mm onyx beads accented with a swirl of silver plated wire. The center and the crucifix are silver colored metal and the wire is silver plated copper.  Please click here to learn more about this rosary and please visit to see more of my unbreakable rosaries and chaplets.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thought for the Day

Disciple:  Master, what do I need to do to become enlightened?

Master:  As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.

Disciple: Then what is the benefit of all the spiritual exercises that you give me to do?

Master:  So you will be awake when the sun begins to rise. 
                                 Anonymous saying from the Desert Fathers

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lazo Wedding Rosary

Lazo Wedding Rosary at

The Lazo or Lasso Rosary has Mexican origins. Basically, a Lazo rosary is two full rosaries joined together by one crucifix. It symbolizes the union of the bride and groom in marriage. Traditionally, the godparents or sponsors of the couple getting married place the rosary around the bride's neck and around the groom's neck during the wedding ceremony. Special prayers are then said to join them in Holy Matrimony. After the wedding, one of two things can be done. Some couples keep the rosary so that they can use it to pray together and then later pass it along to their children when they get married. Other couples break the rosary down into two separate rosaries. Then they give one rosary to the bride's mother and the other to the groom's mother as keepsakes of the wedding.

The Pater beads in this rosary are comprised of handmade wedding cake beads, the Aves are white Czech glass beads.   The crucifix and the three centers are lead free pewter.   Please click here to learn more about this stunning rosary.   Also, please visit my shop at to view more of my rosaries and chaplets. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Last Gift

Recently, a very dear friend of mine died.   We were best friends from the minute we met and for 16 years, our friendship grew and became a sheltering tree that nourished us and helped us both to grow as human beings.   In the past few years, she was very sick and while her death was not unexpected, it still caught me by surprise.  I wonder if it is ever possible to be prepared for the death of a loved one?   There will be a hole in my heart and in my life without her.

One of the problems we always seemed to muddle through together was a paucity of funds.  She was always worried about how she was going to support her children, and keep a roof over their heads.  While I live alone, I had the same struggles of trying to keep my head above water financially.   It was almost like we took turns worrying about how to pay the rent or how to keep the electric from being shut off or, at times, even how to pay to put gas in the car.  Somehow, it always helped to have someone to share the struggle and somehow we always made it through.

When I heard of her death, the first thought that went thru my mind was: “Well…now Jeanie doesn’t have to worry about the price of gas”.   I can say honestly, that is not the first thought I expected to have.  Nevertheless, that is that thought that went thru my mind.  I then found myself wondering what it is like to be in a place where you don’t have to worry about the price or gas…or the price of anything else for that matter.

Then, in the face of eternity, I realized how senseless and meaningless our pursuit of money really is.   That does not mean that it isn’t a necessary pursuit.  After all, everyone needs to eat and provide shelter for themselves.   It’s just that it is a pursuit that has no meaning when measured against eternity.

Then I wondered…”what does have meaning in the face of eternity?”   Again, the answer was unexpected.   I expected to think that helping other people, serving God, giving to charity and many other things would have meaning.  I am not saying they don’t have meaning, I’m just saying those thoughts did not go thru my mind.  The thought that did go thru my mind was: “The rosary has meaning in the face of eternity”.   I was surprised.  

I make and sell rosaries.   I pray the rosary often and it has always been meaningful to me.  So, of course, I wasn’t surprised to see that the rosary has meaning in the face of eternity.   It was the profound depth of meaning and the tangibility it gives our relationship with the Lord that caught me unaware.  In my mind, I saw the beads of the rosary stretched out like stepping stones across the sky with one end on earth and the other in heaven.   I saw that the rosary is, in a very real way, a tether that binds heaven to earth and the prayers we pray on each bead can, like stones in a stream, bear us into the Lord’s presence.

In this manner, it truly is a sacramental.   The rosary is a very real, tangible, almost lowly material object made of beads and bits of wire.   However, when prayed with an open heart, these beads transcend themselves and enable our prayers to become open doors that we as mere mortals can walk up to and meet Jesus who steps thru to be with us.   Furthermore, this collection of beads and wire gives us something that we can literally hold onto as it helps to move us deeper into our relationship with the Lord and with His Mother.

My friend Jeanie was a “dyed in the wool” Baptist who never prayed the rosary a day in her life.   Still, as I contemplate the deeper meaning of the rosary that opened up to me soon after she died, I can’t help but think that this was her last parting gift to me.   Jeanie gave me many gifts, all of which I will cherish, but her last gift to me was, far and away, the best gift.  Thank you my dear friend.