Stations of the Cross 13 with Joan Chittister, OSB


Jesus is taken down from the cross

The thirteenth station of the cross with its specter of irrevocable loss, its futile efforts, its wasted dreams, drains the human soul to the point of numbness. Can anything worse be imagined than the death of the ideal? When Jesus is taken down from the cross, when hope dies, when everything we ever wanted gets

thrown away, discarded, overlooked, ignored, forgotten, we eat the dust of despair. We wonder what life was ever about if this is all it comes to—despite all the good will, all our great struggles to have it be otherwise.  Then, we realize that only God is God, that we are not in charge of time or truth or the perfect world.

Then, we give ourselves over to the arms of God and trust.

The question on which the thirteenth station concentrates us is a straightforward one: Am I prepared to let go of everything I ever wanted so that God’s will can come another way?


Jesus, when I am tempted to insist on being able

to control the situations of my life

beyond your other ways of breaking me open

to new ideas, new insights, new beginnings,

give me the grace in the midst of my pain to let go.

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