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The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Joint Stations of the Cross Service

For many years St Thomas More Catholic Church and St George's Anglican Church have held a joint Stations of the Cross service. The service is rotated each week at one of the two Parishes.

This past weekend, Friday, April 1, 2011 the service was held at St Georges Parish, Mt. Rose Ave. Officiating was Fr. Kingsley Knowles of St Georges, and Msgr. Alfred Culmer of St Thomas More.
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn.
The Stations originated in medieval Europe when wars prevented Christian pilgrims from visiting the Holy Land. European artists created works depicting scenes of Christ's journey to Calvary. The faithful installed these sculptures or paintings at intervals along a procession route, inside the parish church or outdoors. Performing the devotion meant walking the entire route, stopping to pray at each "station."

STATIONS OF THE CROSS


  1. Jesus is Condemned to Death
  2. Jesus Is Made To Carry His Cross
  3. Jesus Falls The First Time
  4. Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother
  5. Simon Of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
  6. Veronica Wipes The Face Of Jesus
  7. Jesus Falls The Second Time
  8. The Women Of Jerusalem Weep Over Jesus
  9. Jesus Falls The Third Time
  10. Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments
  11. Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross
12. Jesus Is Raised Upon The Cross And Dies
13. Jesus Taken Down From The Cross And Placed In The Arms Of His Mother
14. Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb

As we journey during this Lenten season we should be reflecting on our lives and how far we are from the ideal, exclaims Fr. Knowles. To present the ideal to those present came a reflection from a very familiar member of St George's Parish, Mr. Elijah Knowles.

"The Cross and Grace" by Elijah Knowles

The meditation is based on the 12th Station where Jesus dies on the cross for us. Asking the question; "What if trees had no trunks, would there still be a cross?", Elijah submits that the cross was in God's plan for us from the beginning of time as he is the architect of the many wonderful trees we have on earth today. Lent has always been a special time for Elijah.

I believe we have been modernized in putting less emphasizes on this side of Lent. Fasting during Lent is a daily reminder that we are on a journey, and there is an end point. The cross which is highlighted during Lent is the most significant and universal object that ties Christianity together. Whenever we see a cross,
 we as Christians automatically connects and we identify with it. The cross defines us in our Faith. It is through the cross that we are separated from other religions. I know of no other religion that has the cross as its symbol of redemption; only Christianity. How strong then is our Faith? Are you willing to die being identified as a Christian? This is how martyrs are formed.
Jesus died on the cross for love of me. If we know then that Jesus died on the cross for the love of me, why are we not able to stand out in the crowd? Why have we not been able to separate ourselves? Why do we not stand out? Is our way of life different from the non-Christian, or do we take Jesus' death and love for granted? Or is it that we know we can continually run back to God for forgiveness? I can only surmise that God's grace is somewhere in play.
Using an example of a person borrowing money from a friend and that friend writing off the debt, Elijah explains how Jesus wrote off our debts when he died on the cross, so we can have eternal life Salvation through him.

We should all be happy to participate in the Stations of the Cross exercise because it reminds us that the cross for us is the gate to God's grace and salvation. It is a teaching exercise that reminds us what Jesus did for you and me. We can never through our own deeds be worthy of what Jesus did on the cross for us. We could never earn God's grace or his mercy. The cross provides us with a hope. Jesus' death on the cross is God's way of creating a hope for us all. If Jesus had not died to save us from our sins, we would all surely be in trouble. We should continually thank God for his saving grace and mercy.
"Grace is getting what we do not deserve and mercy is not receiving what we do deserve". The cross is important to us as Christians because it provides grace. By the merits of thy death it gives me grace to die. Grace can be summed up like this G(God's), R(Richest), A(At), C(Christ), E(Expense). What Jesus did through his death and resurrection we can not do anything to deserve it, grace is getting what we do not deserve. We are undeservingly inheritants of God's richest at Christ expense. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".
The cross is also important because Jesus left us with some commands; one of them being "to repent". Repentance is a response of our understanding of God's grace. Remember, we can do nothing by ourselves to be worthy of the grace that God gives to us. Our minimum response to the grace that God has poured out on us is a sincere and a penitent heart.
Concentrate on the cross and its significance and worship him, and whenever you look at a tree again, think of the cross.

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