Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love

NOTE: St. Francis Xavier Parish, Kansas City, MO is hosting a retreat with Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, a married Melkite priest, former attorney and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Jesus’ Way of Peace: Nonviolent Love of Friends and Enemies will be held Friday, March 28th from 7 PM – 9 PM and continues Saturday, March 29th from 9 AM – 4 PM. Retreat is held at Rockhurst University, Massman Hall, room 250. Cost is $40. (Lunch is included). Partial scholarships are available. Register by contacting pegburns@hotmail.com or calling 816-333-5407.

Here is an excerpt from Fr. McCarthy’s book “Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love.” To read the whole book, download the PDF here.

I. Jesus is Condemned to Death by Pilate

V. We adore you O Christ and we praise you.
R. Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

How many others have heard the state bureaucrat say, “We cannot tolerate you. We cannot help you. The world will be a better place without you. You
must die.” What goes through the mind of the victim when he or she hears, “You are to be executed!” Over the centuries many who have claimed to be
followers of Jesus have stood with the historical “community of executioners”—kings, presidents, governors, judges, soldiers, police, wardens, hangmen. Jesus himself stood with the historical “community of the executed.” He did not stand with those who say, “You must die.” He stood alongside those who are told, “You must die.” Capital punishment is not what Jesus taught. It is what he suffered.

But, Pilate washes his hands and says, “I am not responsible.” The scientist who makes a part of the instrument that when discharged sends hundreds
or thousands to a fiery death says, “I am not responsible.” Christians in the Third World are beaten into oppression, while Christians in the First World
live off the fruits of that oppression and say, “I am not responsible.” The affluent Christian who spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours a year on sports, alcohol, fashion, drugs and entertainment says to the billions of people caught in the unrelieved miseries of poverty, hunger, disease and injustice, “I am not responsible.” More than Pilate have washed their hands as the suffering Christ was condemned to death.

III. Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore you O Christ and we praise you.
R. Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

To fall under the abnormal burden of the cross of nonviolent love is painful. For the person who wants to love, who believes in forgiveness, who desires
to serve, who wishes to reconcile, who is committed to patience, kindness, meekness and mercy—for this person to fail hurts and hurts deeply. Fatigue, ignorance, fear, selfishness, false securities, prior nurturing, self-righteousness, escapism and idolatry all stand always ready to trip-up, to knock down the bearer of the cross of nonviolent love.

But Jesus teaches that when, for whatever reason, we fall under the humanly impossible burden of the cross of nonviolent love, our task is not to give up, stay down, walk away or change direction. Our task is to get up and to continue in the Spirit of Christ our journey to Calvary—our pilgrimage to the
Absolute.

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