® - Edited by Romain Lizé - Meditations by Fr. André Louf A SCRIPTURAL WAY OF THE CROSS

A SCRIPTURAL WAY OF THE CROSS - Edited by Romain Lizé - Paris • New York • Oxford • Madrid Magnificat® Meditations by Fr. André Louf

THE BIBLICAL TEXTS FOR THE WAY OF THE CROSS are taken from the Gospel of Luke, and the meditation texts and prayers were composed by Abbot André Louf, a Cistercian monk of strict observance who finished his life in a hermitage after exercising his ministry as Abbot in his community of Notre-Dame of Mont-des-Cats in France for thirty-five years. He was a monk steeped in the Scriptures thanks to the daily practice of lectio divina, an avid reader of the Church Fathers of the first centuries and of the Flemish mystics, a father of monks who was able to accompany his brothers in their spiritual life and in the daily quest for that “one heart and soul” that was characteristic of the apostolic community of Jerusalem. He was, then, a cenobite monk for whom solitude and communion were in constant existential converse: solitude before God and fraternal communion, inner unification and community unity, reducing all to the simplicity of what is essential and to the opening up to the varied expressions of a living faith. This is the daily undertaking of the monk, the dynamic of his stability in the reality of a specific community, the “work of obedience” (Rule of Saint Benedict) by which a return is made to God. The texts of this Way of the Cross are filled with this liberating monastic labor, which is also the labor of every baptized member of the living community of the Church. Jesus is often found alone, sometimes by his free choice, other times because everyone has abandoned him: he is alone in the Mount of Olives, face to face with the Father; he is alone in facing the betrayal of one of his disciples and in the denial of another of their number; he faces the Sanhedrin alone, the judgment of Pilate, the scorn of the soldiers; alone he takes up the weight of the cross; alone he abandons himself totally to the arms of his Father. INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION 8

But Jesus’ solitude is not fruitless, quite the contrary: since it arises from an intimate union with the Father and the Spirit, it in turn creates communion in those who enter into a living relationship with him. Thus in his Passion Jesus encounters the fraternal support of the Cyrenean; he recognizes the consolation of the women disciples who have come up to Jerusalem with him; he opens the doors of his Kingdom to the centurion and to the good thief, who are able to look beyond appearances; he sees the beginnings of the community taking place at the foot of the cross, being formed by his mother and the beloved disciple. Finally, the precise moment of what seems to be his greatest solitude, when he is laid in the tomb, when his body is swallowed by the earth, becomes the passage towards a renewed cosmic community: having descended to the underworld, Jesus meets all of humanity in Adam and Eve, announces salvation to “the spirits in prison” (1 Pt 3:19), and re-establishes the community of paradise. For every disciple of Jesus Christ, participating in the Way of the Cross means entering into the mystery of solitude and communion experienced by our Master and Lord, accepting the will of the Father for us all, until we are able to see, beyond suffering and death, the life without end that bursts forth from the pierced side and the empty tomb. 9

Brothers and Sisters, We have come together to follow the Lord Jesus on the way that leads to Calvary. There we shall meet people who followed him to the end —his Mother, the Beloved Disciple, the women who followed him in his preaching of the Good News— and all those, moved by compassion, who sought to console him and to alleviate his pain. We shall also meet those who called for his death and whom he, in an abundance of love, forgave. Let us ask him to pour forth into our hearts the sentiments that were his (Phil 2:5) so that we may “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible [we] may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10-11). In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen The Way of the Cross (detail) Martin Feuerstein (1856-1931) 11

Vexilla Regis prodeunt; fulget Crucis mysterium, qua vita mortem pertulit et morte vitam protulit. Quae vulnerata lanceae mucrone diro criminum, ut nos lavaret crimine, manavit unda et sanguine. Impleta sunt quae concinit David fideli carmine, dicendo nationibus: regnavit a ligno Deus. Arbor decora et fulgida, ornata Regis purpura, electa digno stipite tam sancta membra tangere. Beata, cuius brachiis pretium pependit saeculi: statera facta corporis, tulitque praedam tartari. O Crux ave, spes unica, hoc Passionis tempore! piis adauge gratiam, reisque dele crimina. Te, fons salutis Trinitas, collaudet omnis spiritus: quibus Crucis victoriam largiris, adde praemium. Amen. Abroad the regal banners fly, now shines the Cross’s mystery: upon it Life did death endure, and yet by death did life procure. Who, wounded with a direful spear, did purposely to wash us clear from stain of sin, pour out a flood of precious water mixed with blood. That which the prophet-king of old hath in mysterious verse foretold, is now accomplished, whilst we see God ruling the nations from a Tree. O lovely and refulgent Tree, adorned with purpled majesty; culled from a worthy stock, to bear those limbs which sanctified were. Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore the wealth that did the world restore; the beam that did that Body weigh which raised up Hell’s expected prey. Hail Cross, of hopes the most sublime! Now, in the mournful Passion time; grant to the just increase of grace, and every sinner’s crimes efface. Blest Trinity, salvation’s spring may every soul Thy praises sing; to those Thou grantest conquest by the Holy Cross, rewards supply. Amen. Christ Carrying the Cross Luca Giordano (1634-1705) VEXILLA REGIS PRODEUNT 1 12 INTRODUCTION

Jesus, innocent victim of sin, receive us as companions on your Paschal path, which from death leads to life, and teach us to live the time that we spend on earth rooted in faith in you, who have loved us and given yourself up for us (Gal 2:20). You are the Christ, the one Lord, who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen. 13 LET US PRAY

JOHANN KUHNAU - TRISTIS EST ANIMA MEA 2 JESUS ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES F I RST STAT ION We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic et vigilate mecum. Iam videbitis turbam quæ circumdabit me. Vos fugam capietis, et ego vadam immolari pro vobis. Sorrowful is my soul even unto death. Stay here, and watch with me. Now you shall see the mob that will surround me. You shall take flight, and I shall go to be sacrificed for you. 15

[Jesus] went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” [And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.] When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.” THE WORD OF GOD THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE 22:39-46 Previous page Christ in the Garden of Olives Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) 16 FIRST STATION

MEDITATION FR. ANDRÉ LOUF Having arrived at the beginning of his Passover, Jesus is in the presence of his Father. How could it have been any different, since his secret dialogue of love with the Father had never ended? “The hour has come” (Jn 16:32), the hour foreseen from the beginning, announced to the disciples, which is unlike any other, which contains all the others and is the sum of them at the very moment that they are about to be fulfilled in the arms of the Father. And suddenly that hour is the cause of fear. Nothing is hidden from this fear, but there, in the quiet of anguish, Jesus takes refuge with his Father in prayer. In Gethsemane that evening the struggle becomes fierce handto-hand combat, so bitter that on Jesus’ face sweat changes to blood. And Jesus dares one last time, in the presence of his Father, to give expression to the torment that seizes him: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done” (Lk 22:42). Two wills clash for a moment, and then come together in the abandonment to love already announced by Jesus: “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father” (Jn 14:31). 17

The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane Studio of Domínikos Theotokópoulos, called El Greco (1541-1614)

Jesus, our brother, in order to open to all people the path of Passover you chose to experience temptation and fear: teach us to take refuge with you, and to repeat your words of abandonment to and acceptance of the Father’s will, which in Gethsemane obtained the salvation of the universe. Grant that the world may know through your disciples the power of your limitless love, the love that consists in giving one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, alone, before the Father, you renewed your acceptance of his will. To you be praise and glory forever. Amen. Our Father… PRAYER 20 FIRST STATION

The Agony in the Garden Andrea di Vanni (c. 1330-1413) 21

www.magnificat.com “In prayerfully following Christ’s steps, from the Garden of Olives to Golgotha, we are called to surrender to the loving will of the Father.” Romain Lizé A PROFOUND SPIRITUAL AND CONTEMPLATIVE EXPERIENCE WITH CHRIST Pray and meditate on fourteen Stations of the Cross drawn from Sacred Scripture. These simple yet profound meditations and prayers were written by Trappist monk Father André Louf for Pope John Paul II. Unite yourself with Christ in his Passion in a dramatic new way, accompanied by over forty pieces of sacred art from masters such as El Greco, Caravaggio, Maurice Denis, and Paul Rubens. Each station suggests a selection of prayerful music from Victoria, Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Bach, Charpentier, Mozart, and others, which are all easily accessible through links provided for YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. Romain Lizé is President of Magnificat.