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John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross

18th June 2013 Christian Books 16 Comments

In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide to invite readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross–from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial. Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O’Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross

  • 16 responses to "John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross"

  • Media Mike
    4:02 on June 18th, 2013
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    This is the edition I have been using for years. It was originally published as `everyman’s way of the cross’ and has sold over 2 million copies. The photo’s accompanying each meditation are black and white photo’s of everyday life; an apartment building someone in a library, an old man sitting in a park. These down to earth pictures help bring the meditations home to today and now.

  • Timothy Sykes
    5:07 on June 18th, 2013
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    Very beautiful, well thought out meditation on Stations of the Cross.
    Especially good in a group setting.

  • Timika Mace
    7:47 on June 18th, 2013
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    In all honesty, this small book offers real deep insight into the Stations of the Cross. Stations of the Cross is a very moving service in itself, but this devotion takes it a step further. We are exposed to a closer look at each station. Also, we are given an oppurtunity to see how each of the individual stations applies to everyday life. This belongs in the library of any Roman Catholic or Anglo Catholic. In my opinion, Edward the Confessor and the blessed Anglican Martyr Charles Stuart would have loved this dearly.

  • Come on.
    11:28 on June 18th, 2013
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    Everyone’s Way of The Cross offers powerful reflections on the 14 stations in a way that makes them relevant to every person in every circumstance of life. I use them with my parish and receive very positive and moving comments about them.

  • Darrell Wiggett
    14:46 on June 18th, 2013
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    This book is an excellent resource for Lent as it combines historic events with a response for today. Although some explanation may be helpful when used by Protestants, it can deepen the understanding of the worshippers while calling them to a greater commitment to living a Christ directed life. The photography heightens the impact of the words.

  • Tamala Mary
    19:13 on June 18th, 2013
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    This simple little book catches you from the first page and never lets go through to the last page.Enzler writes beautifully, powerfully and movingly. A completely different way of looking at the Way of the Cross,because of how it makes the various steps personal. I have used it many times on a Way of The Cross and it has never failed to move me or provide an insight I needed. I have also used it as a spiritual guide to meditation and it has been perfect for that purpose.

  • Helpful Hen
    21:18 on June 18th, 2013
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    These meditations are written in a conversational format, with a gentle and fluid sort of writing style. They lend themselves particularly well to everyday life application. Read slowly, with accompanying meditation, the chances of them making a personal and lasting impression on the reader are high.
    It’s with a great deal of conviction then that I most heartily recommend this book.

  • Valleyite
    4:05 on June 19th, 2013
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    This is a beautiful reflection on the stations. I remember using it in Catholic grade school. How very sad that it was neutered by the feminists at Notre Dame and who so maliciously try to destroy any reference to MAN in the Church today!

  • Joshua Tucker
    7:52 on June 19th, 2013
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    It seems to be Clarance Ensler’s style to be able to speak well taking the point of view of Christ speaking to us. He did so well in “My Other Self”, and that’s the tone of this Way of the Cross.

    At the begining, he states “My Mass wasn’t finished until I crowned it with my death. Your Mass isn’t finished until you crown it with your life.”

    In each station, he draws out some area, some idea in our life that we can offer as a sacarafice to God, from accepting the suffering of our loved ones, to accepting our own death. How the bordom and trials of work can be a fitting offering to God. In this prayer, our lives become tied intimately to Christ’s.

  • Sylvia Carpenter
    9:07 on June 19th, 2013
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    In The Gospel Accoding to Luke, Jesus says: “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). As Catholics, Anglo Catholics, Methodists, or any kind of Christians, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about Jesus only for an hour or so at church on Sunday. (Most of us are often guilty of this. Myself included.) This short but profound book emphasizes that in a way, each of the 14 Stations of the Cross is applicable to the way we live our lives. My first advice is to NOT let the thin length of this book fool you. It packs a lot of profound material. The book begins with ‘Jesus’ explaining that his life was not complete until it was crowned with the 14 stations of the cross. The author has ‘Jesus’ give a small comment about each of the 14 stations, and then he allows us to see how each of the 14 stations apply to our own life. Without going through all the 14 stations, one of the standouts is accepting our hardships as well as our human weaknesses. He also reminds us that as much as we might suffer, it is more painful for someone who is watching us suffer. Another standout is reminding us that we have our “Simon of Cyrenes” to help us carry our cross and that we can be “Simon of Cyrenes” to others. (For those of you who do not know this, Simon of Cyrene was the man who helped Jesus carry his cross on the way to the crucifixion.) Another standout is how ends lead to new beginnings. Another standout chapter emphasizes how a desire for prestige or wealth can often distance us from God or even moral values. (Jen Garner’s character learned this in her “13 Going On 30.”) One of the strongest chapters is 13 where ‘Jesus’ explains that life is full of meetings and partings. We’ve all heard this before, but it has is a bit more impact here. The book concludes with ‘Jesus’ telling us to take up our crosses and follow him. Overall it’s a profound book that focuses Christian values in 14 easy to read chapters. If you are Catholic or Protestant there is no excuse for not reading this. Even a not so fast reader would only have to invest 30 minutes (if that)! My only complaint about this book is that I myself would have had each chapter preceeded by the official printed station of the cross. (What we hear at Good Friday.) But this situation can easily be fixed if you have a copy of “The Way of the Cross” to read along side with it. This is a compact but powerful book that no Christian should be without.

  • Hunter
    11:05 on June 19th, 2013
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    Several years ago, in small chapel, I came across this version of the Stations of the Cross. When I found it in print I was elated. I love the “dialog” style conversation between Christ and the traveler. Stations of the Cross are not just for Lent, and this style makes them applicable throughout the year.

  • Lanette Higham
    14:43 on June 19th, 2013
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    I like the simplicity and format of this little booklet.
    I also like the ‘different’ stations of the cross that
    Pope John Paul ll inserted.

  • Run Away
    16:17 on June 19th, 2013
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    Everyone’s way of the cross is a version that works very well as an individual devotion – in contrast to forms that require a leader/everyone else diachotomy. However, it can be used by a group in a two voice manner – one voice of Jesus, the other the voice of human response.

    This version is based upon the 14 traditional stations. Each station’s text is accompanied by a photo that in some manner reflects the common suffering of mankind – age, loneliness, brokenness …. This is a very simple, poetic, meditative version of the Way of the Cross. An example of the human response at the 4th station (Jesus meets his Mother): “To carry my cross after you, / I, too, must stand and watch / the sufferings of my dear ones – / the heartaches, sicknesses and grief / of those I love.”

  • Ian Betteridge
    19:51 on June 19th, 2013
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    This is an excellent version of the Stations of the Cross. John Paul II created a slightly different version of the Stations of the Cross based solely on Scripture verses (rather than Scripture and Catholic tradition) and the end product is this wonderful devotional. The Stations of the Cross chronicle 14 different events in the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and has been a popular Christian devotional since the Middle Ages. In “John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross,” each of the 14 events is displayed on a two-page spread:

    *One side has a wonderful color painting depicting the event (such as “Jesus Prays in the Garden” or “Jesus Takes Up His Cross”), the title of the “station,” and instructions for the leader and the people through short prayers. Stations of the Cross are usually held at Catholic churches during the season of Lent, although this type of personal devotion can be done in groups or individually (with minor alterations).
    *The other side has the Scripture passage and verses, followed by a one paragraph meditation (meant to be read by the leader) and a one paragraph response (meant to be read by the people). Each station concludes with a Kyrie (i.e. repeating “Lord, have mercy”; followed by “Christ, have mercy”; concluded by another “Lord, have mercy”)

    The quality of the paper and printing is stunning, with bright colors and glossy pages for the pictures. The meditations really hit the right notes, in my opinion, and the responses likewise. I would recommend anyone wanting to use this as a personal devotion to make some slight alterations to the language (which assumes that a group is involved). This is done easily by reading everything oneself, and omitting the parts that say “stand” or “kneel” by just kneeling the whole time. To give you an idea of how “long” the Stations of the Cross is, one of the 14 “stations” can be completed (i.e. read through) in approximately 2-3 minutes. I’ve attended Stations at the local church and it usually takes 20-30 minutes to get through all 14 in one sitting. Completing one Station each night before bedtime is an excellent way of aiding one’s prayer life, as long as one isn’t rushing through it just to get to the end of it! The Stations are meant to inspire meditation after all, and there’s no such thing as rushing through meditation if you want it to mean anything.

    Notes: There are MANY different interpretations and publications of Stations of the Cross. Take a look at some other versions, especially if you want to use them in your personal prayer life. It is amazing how different perspectives on the same events help in our understanding of the passion and death of Jesus. At less than five dollars for most of them, they are certainly worth the money.

  • Dublin
    23:43 on June 19th, 2013
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    If you know the author Clarence Enzler, you would know that these are the best written Stations because the book, My Other Self (which is incredible) is also wonderful. However, people are selling that book at prices that are very high and unreasonable. Search for a seller that is selling at a good price if you can find one – the book is worth up to $50.00 more than that is a rip off.

  • Mike Ball
    13:54 on June 20th, 2013
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    This is a thin, light book (easy to carry in my purse, but a little too wide for a pocket) that has both explanation, guidance and prayer for each station of the cross. I try to read it as often as possible. It is especially helpful in getting my perspective straight when I’m getting tired of trying, feeling sorry for myself, ready to give up, ready to blab all about my sorrows instead of carrying them with more grace and faith, etc. Having studied this book also helps enrich my personal meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary.

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