Stations of the Cross 11 with Joan Chittister, OSB

station11

Jesus is nailed to the cross

The eleventh station of the cross brings us all to face the moments when we know we must do what we do not want to do.

When what we know to be right exacts more from us than we think we can give, then Jesus nailed to a cross is our only hope that one day the cross we seek to avoid will have been worth the climbing. The cross is what we feel when the project flounders, when the job ends, when the love disintegrates, when the position is over, when all the supporters go away. Then we begin to realize that life’s real problem does not lie in being nailed to a cross, it lies in choosing a cross that is too small to justify being nailed to in the first place. When we spend our energies on small things, when we spend our lives chasing dreams that do not satisfy, we suffer as much to lose them, but for far too small a reason.

The question with which the eleventh station confronts us is whether or not we are spending our lives, our hopes, our emotions on something great enough to make the pain of losing them worthwhile. The task of life is to choose to spend it on something big enough to risk the pain of its loss.

Prayer

Jesus, give me the grace to choose carefully

those things to which I give my heart and on which

I spend my life so that having to suffer for them, the

suffering is always meaningful.

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