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11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross

with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Good Friday 2005, at the Colosseum in Rome

From the Gospel according to Matthew (27: 37-42)
And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right hand and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross”. So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him.”

Meditation
Jesus is nailed to the Cross. The shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the pain of the Crucifixion. His whole body is racked; the words of the Psalm have come to pass: “But I am a worm and no man, scorned by men, rejected by the people” (Ps 22:7). “As one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised... surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is 53:3f.). Let us halt before this image of pain, before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure, in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation, and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon. As we stand before the condemned Lord, who did not use his power to come down from the Cross, but endured its suffering to the end, another thought comes to mind. Ignatius of Antioch, a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord, praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were, so to speak, nailed with flesh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). Let us nail ourselves to him, resisting the temptation to stand apart, or to join others in mocking him.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, you let yourself be nailed to the Cross, accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering, the destruction of your body and your dignity. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast; you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. May we never flee from what we are called to do. Help us to remain faithful to you. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. Help us to accept your “binding” freedom, and, “bound” fast to you, to discover true freedom.

Our Father ... Holy Mother, pierce me through; in my heart each wound renew of my Saviour crucified.

11ª estación - Jesús clavado en la cruz      
Meditaciones y Oraciones del Cardenal Joseph Ratzinger (Papa Benedicto XVI)

11ème station - Jésus est cloué sur la Croix       
Méditations et prières du Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pape Benoît XVI) au Colisée

Music: from 'Triduum - Contemporary Sacred Music' by David Bevan & Neil Wright.
To download the free mp3 audio recordings individually, right/double click on the play buttons   
Plus, you can listen to / download the Stations of the Cross podcasts in English, French, Portuguese & Spanish on itunes or from Totus2us' RSS feeds.

The Eleventh Station of the Cross      

with quotes from Julian of Norwich

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

And when they came to the place which is called the skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23: 33-34)

We pray to God by his holy flesh and by his precious blood, his holy Passion, his dear worthy death and worshipful wounds. For all the blessed kindness and endless life that we have is through all this: it is all the goodness of God. For the blessed wounds of our Saviour be open, and enjoy to heal us. (Julian of Norwich - I Revelation, Ch 6 & XIV Revelation Ch 61)

I love you Jesus, my love, above all things; I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.
Never permit me to separate myself from you again.
Grant that I may love you always, then do with me as you will.

Our Father ... Hail Mary ... Glory be.

Via Crucis with Blessed John Paul II

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi. 
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

on Good Friday in the Jubilee Year

21st April 2000 at the Colosseum in Rome
in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

“They tear holes in my hands and my feet; I can count every one of my bones” (Ps 21:17- 18).
The words of the Prophet are fulfilled.
The execution begins.
The torturers’ blows crush the hands and feet of the Condemned One against the wood of the Cross.
The nails are driven violently into his wrists. Those nails will hold the condemned man as he hangs in the midst of the inexpressible torments of his agony.
In his body and his supremely sensitive spirit, Christ suffers in a way beyond words.
With him there are crucified two real criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
The prophecy is fulfilled: “He was numbered among the transgressors” (Is 53:12).
Once the torturers raise the Cross, there will begin an agony that will last three hours.
This word too must be fulfilled: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (Jn 12:32).

What is it that “draws” us to the Condemned One in agony on the Cross?
Certainly the sight of such intense suffering stirs compassion. But compassion is not enough to lead us to bind our very life to the One who hangs on the Cross.
How is it that, generation after generation, this appalling sight has drawn countless hosts of people who have made the Cross the hallmark of their faith?
Hosts of men and women who for centuries have lived and given their lives looking to this sign?
From the Cross, Christ draws us by the power of love,
divine Love, which did not recoil from the total gift of self;
infinite Love, which on the tree of the Cross raised up from the earth the weight of Christ’s body, to counterbalance the weight of the first sin;
boundless Love, which has utterly filled every absence of love and allowed humanity to find refuge once more in the arms of the merciful Father.
May Christ lifted high on the Cross draw us too, the men and women of the new millennium!
In the shadow of the Cross, let us “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2).

Prayer
O Christ lifted high,
O Love crucified, fill our hearts with your love,
that we may see in your Cross the sign of our redemption
and, drawn by your wounds, we may live and die with you,
who live and reign with the Father and the Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

on Good Friday 2003 at the Colosseum
in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

From the Gospel according to Mark (15:25-27)
And it was the third hour, when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read: "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two robbers one on his right and one on his left.

Meditation
"They have pierced my hands and feet, I can count all my bones" (Ps 22:16-17). "I can count...": how prophetic were these words! And yet we know that this body is a ransom. The whole of this body, its hands, its feet, its every bone, is a priceless ransom. The Whole Man is in a state of utmost tension: his bones, his muscles, his nerves, his every organ and every cell, is stretched and strained to breaking-point. "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (Jn 12:32).
These words express the full reality of the crucifixion. And part of this reality is the terrible tension penetrating Christ's hands, feet and every bone: driving its way into the entire body which, nailed like a mere thing to the beams of the Cross, is about to be utterly annihilated in the convulsive agony of death. And the whole of the world which Jesus wills to draw to himself enters into the reality of the Cross. The world is dependent on the gravitational pull of this body, which inertia now causes to sink lower and lower. The Passion of Christ Crucified lies precisely in this gravitational pull.
"You are from below, I am from above" (Jn 8:23). From the Cross he says: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34).

Acclamation
Christ, crucified by hatred, made by love a sign of reconciliation and peace.
R. Christe, eleison.
Christ, by your blood shed on the Cross, you have ransomed man, the world, the universe.
R. Christe, eleison.