The Fourth Station:
Jesus meets his afflicted mother
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you:
Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world
To what can I liken you, to what can I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What likeness can I use to comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For vast as the sea is your ruin. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.
Separated by so many years, it's hard to imagine what it must have felt like for Jesus to meet his mother. Years before she had heard the message of the angel, but how could she have known how things would turn out? How must he have felt, her oldest son, carrying his cross to his death? For so many of us, families are a source of pain and anxiety rather than a place of support and comfort. Here at the fourth station, let us pray for our own families and for reconciliation and healing for families that are broken.
A prayer for the families
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, We commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them, we pray, every root of bitterness, the desire of vanity, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and holiness. Knit together the hearts of those who have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle our hearts, that we may evermore turn to each other in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer at the Fourth Station
V. A sword will pierce your own soul also:
R. And fill your heart with bitter pain.
Let us pray:
O God, who willed that in the passion of your Son a sword of grief should pierce the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary his mother: Mercifully grant that your Church, having shared with her in his passion, may be made worthy to share in the joys of his resurrection; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.