Stations of the Risen Christ

Resurrection Meditations

Frank Heelan

Stations of the Risen Christ: Resurrection Meditations is meant to inspire people to pray and meditate on the Scriptural passages relating to Jesus Christ rising from the dead, and his subsequent appearances to over 500 disciples. Stations of the Risen Christ capture fourteen vignettes from the Gospel writings of John, Luke, and Matthew. A brief meditation follows each of the fourteen Scripture readings to motivate Christians to pray and acquire a deeper understanding of these divine mysteries.

For centuries, Christians have devoutly prayed the Stations of the Cross to commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, and to remind us that we also have a share in Christ’s suffering through our daily lives. But life does not end with the cross of Christ. It’s the Resurrection from the dead, and his promise that we also will rise from the dead and receive a resurrected body “like angels.”

By praying the Stations of the Risen Christ during the Easter season to complement the Stations of the Cross for Lent, we are witnessing to our belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that Christ will clothe us in a resurrected body in the days to come.

BOOK REVIEWS

The US Review

“But life does not end with the cross of Christ.”

Author Heelan has created a highly focused collection that gives Christians a new choice in worship—one based around the old and long-held tradition of fourteen stations of the cross, or Via Crucis. The time-honored stations are short recitations of events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus, ending with his death. Heelan asserts that this tradition has the addition of the stations, or meditations, on his resurrection and “the promise of what is to come”—the hope for all Christians inherent in that world-changing event.

It is with this in mind that he has constructed fourteen new stations that begin where the old ones end. These are concentrated on a variety of key events: the women’s visit to Christ’s empty tomb, their rush to tell the others disciples, Peter’s visit to the tomb, Jesus’s appearance to Mary Magdalene, the walk to Emmaus, Jesus’s appearance to all disciples, his proof of identity to doubting Thomas, his appearance by the Sea of Galilee, a shared meal with his followers, special orders for Peter, instructions to all to spread his word, his marvelous ascension and blessings of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of his return at the end times.

Heelan has based these short but powerful messages on relevant passages of scripture while sensitively modernizing biblical language in creating the stations to appeal to current Christian ways of approaching the Bible in its many new translations. Each of Heelan’s well-conceived stations begins with a “V” for verse and an “R” for response, adapting the custom of groups echoing the words of a preacher or priest. In the opening station, the verse is “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” with the response, “The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!” The text that follows is, in most instances, a gentle restatement of the original biblical story. Each station is accompanied by a meditation in the form of a prayer inspired by the story portion. The concluding station quotes from Luke, describing an apocalyptic scenario that will take place in some future time, heralding the return of the Son of Man. Heelan’s composition for meditation then invites the worshipper to “eagerly anticipate” the second coming of Christ, thus ending the stations on a highly hopeful note.

Heelan, a dedicated educator, feels that these stations should be performed at Easter to celebrate the return of Jesus
following his crucifixion, just as the Via Crucis meditation ritual occurs during Lent to give a reminder of the savior’s
mystical suffering and death. The author beautifully sets the stage for the stations with a prefatory hymn—”Alleluia!
Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise”—and concludes with another, “Jesus is Risen,” set in the music composed in 1623.
The stations are accompanied by vintage illustrations from traditional artwork and some more current sources, all in
black and white, giving the book as a whole a solidly historical feel. But it is the overarching intent of this work that
gives it gravitas. With the resurrection stations, Heelan shows his gift of spiritual innovation, projecting a worship
modality that could become, like its predecessor, ageless.

Barbara Bamberger Scott

Pacific Book Review

Finding ways to calm one’s mind and banish negative thoughts and energy in this modern age has become one of mankind’s greatest pursuits over the years. One such way that helps many people has been meditation, the art of calming one’s mind and looking inward. As Hugh Jackman once said, “Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”

In author Frank Heelan’s Stations of the Risen Christ: Resurrection Meditations, the author seeks to inspire people to start praying and meditating whilst looking to the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ, particularly after his resurrection. Upon rising from the dead after being crucified, Jesus appeared to over 500 disciples, and in the process inspired great teachings for Christians through the gospels of John, Luke and Matthew. The author hopes to utilize these teachings and gospels through meditations to help readers gain a better understanding of some of Christianity’s greatest mysteries.

Author Frank Heelan demonstrates a fantastic understanding of the Christian faith and delves deeper into the writings and teachings of the faith through his meditative work. The combination of artwork, verses from the gospels and corresponding mediations for readers to utilize in their prayer work, makes for a truly insightful read. The authors ability to transform the verses of the Bible and give readers a mantra of sorts to not only say and meditate on, but to guide readers to better understand the lessons the verses are trying to impart speaks to a brilliant knowledge and implementation of said knowledge into a very short read.

This is the perfect book for those who are religious, in particular Christians who are looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of the teachings of Christ and those who hope to use religion in a positive way like meditation. The core lessons and meditations found within this novel are things that can help a multitude of people, including lessons on guidance on the path to a better understanding of the world around us.

A positive, educational and fast-paced read, author Frank Heelan’s Stations of the Risen Christ: Resurrection Meditations is a phenomenal read for those readers who
utilize a religious background and understanding. A remarkable look into the core teachings of Jesus and the emphasis of the lessons taught after his resurrection, rather than those that came before, highlights the guiding light that his teachings have for so many people in the Christian faith. If you are looking for a religious-based meditation and seek to better understand the lessons of Jesus Christ, be sure to grab your copy of this book today!

Tony Espinoza

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