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The Stations of the Cross at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church

In 07 Observations on 2012/03/15 at 9:11 AM

Mind’s Eye: Restoration Insights: Jacqueline Duick lovingly and meditatively restored the Stations of the Cross at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The project took over 200 hours during a period of three months.   Having restored them twice before, this time she showed them in color so that more details would be visible.

On the white seamless garment worn by Our Lord, Jackie showed blood and dirt as He progressed on His way with the Cross.  She commented that while there have been many traumatic events in history, the Crucifixion is the most recognizable since the beginning of time.  With the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, The Son of God, true God and true man, the gates of heaven were opened to us. He died so that we would live eternally.

She also depicted a background of cloudless blue sky, giving the appearance of a lovely day. People often are attracted to watch the punishment of others and may have thought it is a beautiful  day to watch a Crucifixion.  To some it was pure entertainment, others, were compassionate and believed Jesus was the Messiah.  Seeing the staining of His white robe as He laboriously made His way to death saddened them, particularly the women and children who wept for Him for what child does not weep when it sees its mother crying.

The restoration of each station brought new insights which she lodged in her heart and later shared.  Here are some of many thoughts she shared:

I see Jesus in my mind at that frightful time. He has just been praying in the garden.  There is a concerned look about Him as He waits in anticipation of what is to come.

I see them coming in the distance being led by a common man for the rest of them are soldiers.  He awaits their arrival but holds fast and steady because He knows why they are coming.  Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. The soldiers descend upon him Him with cruelty in their hearts and minds, not realizing that He is the greatest King the world will ever know. They mock Him with a crown of thorns. They take Him to be judged for crimes not committed, but He endures all this because now is His time.  He will sacrifice Himself for a greater cause our salvation. So savagely He is beaten, spat upon, and cursed; they do not know of His heavenly mission on this earth.  How  can He endure all that horror and pain is beyond any of us. They have made Him a cross He must carry to add to His humiliation. This wooden cross has been made for Him upon which He is to spend His final hours.

All have deserted Him but His Mother, Mary, and the disciple,  John who is only sixteen but has great courage. They follow to be near Jesus  as He carries His cross.

He is given help but not out of pity, but because the soldiers do not want Him to die along the way.  Finally, some one takes pity and wipes His blood-stained and battered face; the soldiers interfere because there is no time to rest and  force Him on to His destination.

Now I see the final place of torture as the soldiers prepare His body by dislocating His shoulder so His hands can be nailed to the cross. Next, spikes nail His feet to the cross: a tree, which He had lovingly created, is part of His final torture. The soldiers lift  and drop the cross into the hole in the ground, creating added pain for Jesus.

His Mother, Mary, and the disciple,  John are at the foot of the cross hoping their presence and love they show may give her Son some peace of mind. As I watch Mary’s pain during this murder, it is hard to believe a mother could endure this horrid torture. After enduring three hours on the cross, in the hot sun, He completes the mission the Father in heaven sent Him to earth to accomplish: the salvation of souls. At three, the a night sky marks the death of Jesus. He died for me because of my sins, and lifts that burden from me. He paid a debt I could not pay.

His name is Jesus, the Son of God and He watches over me. One day when my life is over He will reach out His hand and pull me into a heavenly embrace to show me again how much He loves me.  As my mind returns to the present, I realize the gift that has been given to me and I pray I can help others feel this great love.

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