The Sixth Station
Ever since grade school I have been intrigued by St. Veronica. I always loved the beautiful act of simple charity that I saw in her offering her veil to our suffering Lord. It was an example to me of a small act done with great love. But over the years as I have meditated on this station, I’ve begun to see this scene as an encounter initiated not by St. Veronica but by Jesus. In the sixth station I hear Jesus inviting me to draw near.
There is one depiction of the sixth station that I particularly love and now keep in my Bible. It is a simple image of our Lord gazing at St. Veronica and she at Him. She is holding her veil but almost as if she forgot her intention as soon as she found herself before Jesus. My favorite detail is that Jesus is embracing St. Veronica.
It is this personal embrace and encounter that I hear Jesus invite me to. He invites me to draw near, to abandon the crowds and spectators and all hesitation. He invites me to approach with the little that I have, my nothingness really, and to gaze upon the truth which is Jesus, the only Son of God, suffering for love of me. He invites me to prayer where I encounter His love, nearness and embrace.
As I imagine St. Veronica had to courageously persist to make her way past Roman soldiers, I often fight lies, doubts and fears. It is helpful for me to recall that Jesus is always waiting and longing for this encounter, and He delights when I place myself before Him.
The veil has become an image of my response to this loving invitation of Jesus. It is the offering of all that I am and have for Him to do with as He pleases. I’m left in awe seeing that it is the desire of my Savior to imprint His very likeness upon my soul and conform me to Himself.
Sr. Solanus, CFR Novice