Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross stained glass - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus - Image by Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca under CC BY 2.0

In a National Review interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen states:

Everyone has time for prayer. You can pray when you’re going to the bathroom or taking a shower. You asked about stillness. Well, take one particular station with you in the shower in the morning, or to the sink while you’re brushing your teeth, and think about it, feel it, pray about it. Make the station part of your examination of conscience. Get creative with your prayer.

I sympathize with people who have difficulty praying, because for years I needed to be in a very quiet place to pray. But I rarely found myself in a quiet place, so I didn’t pray as much as I wanted. Then, a few years ago, I felt like I was given a grace. I thought, “Well, if I can’t find a quiet place, there are certainly moments throughout the day when I’m alone doing my day-to-day stuff. I can pray then.” And those moments opened up other moments and somehow I found time in places I’d least expect.

Jansen finds some of those moments for prayer during his daily commute. He applies a variation of the Examen to praying the Stations of the Cross. He writes at LoyolaPress.com:

I make it a 15-day exercise (I always add the Resurrection to the 14 Stations), focusing on just one Station a day on my commute home, Monday through Friday. This adds up to a three-week exercise, and it has helped me not only to decompress on the way home but to engage in my relationship with Jesus in new ways. Oh, and to make sure I remember to do this exercise, I set an alarm on my phone as a reminder!

I invite you to do the same. You can approach this reflection at any time in your day, before or after work or dropping off the kids, wherever you are in your life’s journey.

Jansen explains his steps to Unlock the Stations of the Cross, Examen-Style here.

Have you tried praying the Stations of the Cross with a one-Station-at-a-time approach such as Jansen suggests? What new insights might come from praying this devotion with the help of Ignatian prayer approaches?

Image by Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca under CC BY 2.0.

3 Comments on Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

  1. I had never thought of doing the stations this way but you can be assured I am going to work on it. Thanks so much!

  2. I am going to show it to my faith formation class, grade 6.I will comment on their reaction in a future post.

  3. Been doing this for years. Helps gather the day into one moment or every moment into a chatty conversation with Jesus or Mary or St. Joseph or any of the Saints, or the Father, or the Holy Spirit, or our beloved departed. Also, time is not wasted, every moment is consecrated and sacred.

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