During Holy Week it is proper to prepare oneself for the passion of Christ during Christian Counseling sessions. In meditation upon his suffering and death, we can grow closer in love with our savior and find pious resolve to offer our own crosses with Christ. Meditation with Christ can also allow us to join Mary, John, Veronica, Simon and the Holy Women to the very foot of the cross. While Christ’s death as a temporal reality happened historically some Two-Thousand years ago, Christ as the Logos also exists outside of time and within that ability can hear our thoughts and prayers as he suffers. This is an excellent opportunity to mourn for Christ from a distant future but also in a tender present whisper in the echo of time. We can literally console Christ in our meditation as he suffers for us.
Christian Counseling meetings should take advantage of meditations that can be employed by their clients when focusing on Christ during Holy Week. Certain themes can be applied from the Stations of the Cross and utilized for spiritual development within the souls of the faithful.
Christian Counseling Themes Found in the Stations
A few themes that stand out the most from the Stations of the Cross will be reviewed here and
applied to one’s own personal crosses they may carry. The First and most obvious theme of the Stations is conforming one’s will to the Father. As Christ accepted his cross, he submitted his will to the Father. This pain of mental submission initiated in the Garden and was carried to its finality at the cross. In our prayers, we should mimic Christ in accepting the chalice of the Father. Our prayers should be focused on what doors the Lord chooses to open not the ones we wish to have opened. Through the meek and humble example of our Lord, we too should accept whatever crosses come our way.
A Second theme that appears in the Stations is Christ’s calmness and magninty in the face of chaos and lies. As those unworthy to judge him mocked him, he stood as a pinnacle example of Christian excellence and peace. He did not return hate with hate, but stood his ground, professed truth and portrayed a magnanimous image for all Christian generations to follow. This was clearly seen as Pilate condemned Christ to death. How many times are we unjustly ridiculed or mocked? Do we stand for Christ despite the heckling of the world?
A Third theme can be found in the numerous times Christ fell because of our sins. Each time Christ looked up to heaven, and triumphantly and courageously lifted up the cross of our sins. How many times do we fall for those we love yet continue to carry on especially when no reward is in sight? How many times do we help others without any benefit to our own? This theme can also be applied to Simon, who though at first hesitant became an example of helping others. Little did Simon know that by helping a stranger, he was indeed playing a small role in his own redemption. This is the truth behind helping others. One cannot see the temporal value on earth, but will be surprised and amazed at the value of such small actions in the next life.
A Fourth theme can be found in the sorrows of our Lady. The loss of a child is the most painful experience a person can feel. Our Lady not only lost her son, but witnessed his cruel torture. She saw him carry his cross, expire on the cross, hold his lifeless body, and witness the sealing of the tomb. Her sacrifice of her son for our redemption has led many to refer to her as a Co-Redemptrix. She herself, while unable to liberate man as Christ, still nonetheless suffered with Christ for the sins of man and suffered the mental anguish of seeing her only son die. In this regard, the love of Our Lady for us is also a theme that cannot be diminished if one meditates on the Stations.
A Fifth theme is the fidelity of Mary, John, Veronica and the Holy Women. Due to the fear of the mob and the Romans, few remained faithful to Christ in his darkest hour. Judas betrayed him with a kiss, Peter denied him three times, and many of the Apostles and Disciples fled the garden like sheep scattered from the shepherd. This betrayal stung our Lord more than any broken promises we have found in our life. Yet, when times get tough, do we find ourselves standing behind Christ as a soldier, or as a scared lamb? Has the Holy Spirit strengthened us enough to stand by Christ? Would we flee the garden or be found at the foot of the cross on Good Friday?
A Sixth theme is the horrendous nature of sin. While the effects of sin may not be spiritually visible to all, the debt of sin still nonetheless has an enormous debt to justice. Justice demands restitution for that injustice. Only Jesus Christ, who as man represented us as High Priest and as God became the perfect victim, could undo the imbalance of the sin of Adam. Through this self-sacrifice of Christ on the cross one can see the heinous nature of the infinite debt of sin. Christ’s mutilated body that hung from the cross clearly shows it. Every sin ever committed unleashed itself upon the sacrificial lamb. How many times do we blame the Jews and Romans for this crucifixion? We should also look at our sins because ultimately it was our sins that did this to our Lord. In this, we should weep bitterly as Peter did.
While many other themes can be found within the Stations, I think it is good to reflect on these during Holy Week. Christian Counseling sessions can also reflect on these themes as well as others if they apply to individual situations. If you wish to become a Christian Counselor, please review the program and see if the Christian Counseling courses match your academic needs.