Stations of the Cross 10 with Joan Chittister, OSB


Jesus is stripped of his garments

The tenth station of the cross confronts us with the inevitable in every life: Somewhere along the way, we each get stripped of what we have spent our lives acquiring, of things closest to our hearts, of possessions or positions that made us who we thought we were. Then, thrown back upon ourselves, we are left to discover who we have really become. It is a frightening moment, often an embarrassing one, always a difficult one. So much of life is spent attending to the show and glitter, the masks and trappings, the externals of our personal identities that we fail to notice what is missing inside of us. We don’t miss what we don’t have within us until we need it most. Then the lack of dignity, of self-containment, of simple joy, of deep serenity, of holy trust, of genuine humility become glaringly apparent. Then we are ready to become someone worthwhile.

The question with which the tenth station faces us is, What is underneath the garments of pomp, authority, dignity and wealth that we have so carefully cultivated around us? Anything at all?

The Jesus who stands before us naked and unashamed, dignified and full of conviction is calling us to pay more attention to who we are than what we have so cunningly conspired to pretend to be.


Jesus, when I lose everything in life I depend on

to give me status and give me security,

help me to find myself in you,

full to the brim with a sense of the fullness

that comes with faith and purity of heart.

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