The Eighth Station - Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem.

AP Photo / Anja Niedringhaus

We gratefully remember and praise you, Jesus,
because your life teaches us how to live as your disciples.

Your admonition to the women of Jerusalem haunts us to this day, Jesus. You countermanded their grief, redirecting it to those of us surviving your gruesome passion. It continues to reverberate through 20 long centuries of elected violence - to this very day, this very war, which makes men and women committed to nonviolence shudder and weep with its destructive consequences.

Branded with an internationally notorious reputation for preemptively invading and occupying a sovereign state, the United States is also infamous for its inhuman incarceration and torture of prisoners. American parents cannot help but feel worried and distraught for their children’s future. Add to that concern the amount of money allotted by the Congress for military spending, while the same Congress cuts funding for needed social programs, and we have every reason to shed tears for ourselves and for our children. Now we are told that in the last 5 years, the number of Americans living below the poverty line has increased by 5.4 million to a total of 37 million.

Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. - Arundhati Roy