Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Alex Recites the Station of the Cross

I learned the fourteen Stations of the Cross in first grade.  My first grade teacher, Sister Madonna, gave us a handout of prayers and tenets she wanted us to learn by the end of first grade.  If a student was to stand before the class and recite what they had learned, she would give a prize.  The prizes were mini statues of Mary, Jesus, rosaries, books about saints, a new box of crayons, or the rare candy.  She lived a vow of poverty and yet bought these small prizes with money she saved from recycling aluminum cans she found on her daily rosary walk.

The first thing she asked us to memorize was the "Our Father."  For that everyone received a plastic crucifix.  I still have the one I received.  It was a magnificent moment for me earning that crucifix.

I was the only student in the class that year to memorize the Stations of the Cross. I did it, because I wanted her admiration.  For this first grade feat, I received a book about the miracles of Fatima and a rainbow candy cane.  I was filled with pride.  Further, the gift of the book about Fatima inspired in me a childlike faith I can hold on to for all my life.

This week I challenged Alex to learn the fourteen stations.  And he groaned at the assignment.  But, I taught him a few tricks to remember the stations and his fear disappeared.  Today, the second day of the challenge, he rattled them off with ease.  With pride and joy, I asked him to film it.  Of course, when we began filming he was nervous! Not to mention, the girls were chattering away and the dog was barking.

Here are some of the tricks I told Alex to help him remember:

The first three are easy to remember, anyone can remember three things.  1.) Jesus is condemned to death. 2.) Jesus takes up His cross.  3.) Jesus falls the first time.

The second three Jesus meets three people: His mother, Simon and Veronica 4.) Jesus meets His mother, Mary. 5.) Simon the Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross. 6.) Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil.

Then 7.) Jesus falls a second time. 8.) Jesus comforts holy women.

How do you remember number 9.) 3 times 3 equals 9, Jesus falls the third time. (It rhymes and the 3rd time He falls times 3 is nine the same number as the station.)

The last are visually vivid, and make chronological sense, so no tricks are needed.

10.) Jesus is stripped of His garments. 11.) Jesus is nailed to the cross. 12.) Jesus dies on the cross. 13.) Jesus is taken down from the cross. 14.) Jesus is laid in the tomb.

I asked Alex how he remembers number eight.  He said, "I just think of you, Mom. You are a holy woman."

Melt my heart! Always stay sweet and innocent, my son.

Mno Hiya Lyta!

No comments: