Raise your hand if you start the Lenten season determined to pray more and to go through with your planned penances only to give up when responsibilities make it impossible.
*raises both hands*
It seems that when we make an effort to strengthen our prayer life and our relationship with God, an obstacle (or three) throws us off. Many of us end up giving up our plans without modifications but some of us still persist.
One of the best—but difficult—ways to focus on the reason for the season is to pray the Stations of the Cross. Unfortunately, most of us will miss the opportunity due to time management issues, work commitments, and household responsibilities. That or it’s not offered at a convenient time at a church nearby.
What if we told you that there were many ways to be able to do the Stations of the Cross, even if you think you have no time for it?
Thanks to modern technology, there are several options for you. Here are three of the best (virtual) ways to pray the Stations of the Cross, even if you’re up to your eyeballs with work.
There are several apps available for you to use if you have time to focus on the Way of the Cross during your commute or your lunch break. One of my favorites is the Via Crucis: Catholic Meditations on the Way of the Cross by St. Francis of Assisi on iOS. With this app, you can even break apart the Stations of the Cross to fit into your schedule; better yet, it’ll automatically remember where you left off so you can continue the Way all day long.
EWTN and Vatican YouTube Feeds
Every year, for Good Friday, both EWTN and the Vatican YouTube feed will air the live broadcast of the Way of the Cross with Pope Francis (or whoever the pope is at the time) from Rome. If you have family responsibilities keeping you at home or you find yourself too ill to go out, this is a great option. Also, those who are visual learners and/or want their young families to learn how to pray will benefit from watching the Stations of the Cross (also known by its Italian name, Via Crucis). You can also catch a rebroadcast of it on EWTN or on the Vatican’s YouTube feed if you can’t watch it live.
Bishop Barron’s YouTube video
While there are many Stations of the Cross YouTube videos, Bishop Barron’s new Stations of the Cross video is one of the best available. It offers both a visual feast and thought-provoking meditations that will help you focus on the Stations of the Cross in a way that may not be as easy as it is with the other options.
Of course, these are options if you really can’t make it to your local parish. If you can get to your church and participate in the Stations of the Cross, please do so! Not only will you gain a plenary indulgence if it’s done before the fourteen legitimately established stations, moving from one station to the next, but it will be an experience that will enrich your Lenten season.