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The Sixth Station

Seeing Christ so bruised and bloodied, mocked and scourged, Veronica did the one thing she could—run to Him and wipe His Holy Face with her veil. Christ was on the way to His death, but His humanity had been obscured by His tormentors. Veronica did not change the course of His passion. There was nothing she could have done in that regard. But she gave, and gave freely, all that she could to the suffering Christ. She had no thought for the future, no worry about what would become of her veil. Her act of love, small in earthly value but heroic in courage and selflessness, was rewarded with an image of the Holy Face, imprinted on her veil.

When I think of St. Veronica and Christ, I think of spring break and my precious little sister, and the few moments I spent wiping sunscreen into her face as she got ready to go swimming. She was preparing for a vastly different experience than Christ, but that particular moment shared the love and vulnerability of the Sixth Station. I am reminded that I am called to see His Face in my sister’s; to serve Him when I serve her.

This Saturday, the GOAL Program hosted its third annual Day of Service, a morning dedicated to the various needs of the Hillsdale community. This is our place and our time, and these are the people we are called to love. As T. S. Eliot reminds us,

“The desert is not remote in southern tropics,

The desert is not only around the corner,

The desert is squeezed in the tube-train next to you,

The desert is in the heart of your brother.” (Chorus I)

Let St. Veronica teach us how to see Christ’s face in those around us. Let her show us how to act, in courage and selfless love, with no thought to the future or our own person. St. Veronica, pray for us!

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