Training for the priesthood involves pastoral formation of students. This includes visiting local schools. For example this Lent students from the House of Formation have been making regular trips to the local primary and secondary schools to pray the Stations of the Cross with the schoolchildren. We are using the reflections composed by Darren Carden, a seminarian of Lancaster studying in Rome--and who was ordained acolyte on 4th March.
Below are Darren's reflections for the 4th-6th stations (used at school today):
Fourth Station: Jesus meets His Mother
There are moments in our lives that bring pain and failure and there is nothing that we can do to change them. The only thing that we can do is reach out to each other like Jesus and Mary in faith, trust and love. It is these moments in our lives that strengthen us for the next moment in our journey.
Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus to carry His Cross
We see all the suffering around us but what can we do? In His willingness to continue alone, despite His weakness, Jesus challenges our lack of involvement. There may be those of us who are suffering and just waiting for someone to offer to help us. And those of us who, wanting to help, are just waiting for them to ask.
Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
We see Veronica step out from the crowd, what courage--no thought about the danger or the cost--truly an act of love. She wipes His face and His image remains on the cloth. Why do we fail to seeChrist in those who are suffering, why do we turn the other way?
[These reflections were published in the March 2009 issue of The Voice. Contact VoiceXtra@hotmail.co.uk to receive weekly official updates from Lancaster Diocese by e-mail.]