“When we genuflect, we accept death.” For the second station, we kneel as Jesus carries the Cross. Both are a symbol of the acceptance of death. I was once taught that in Medieval times, when a knight genuflected before a king, this gesture, a kneeling before authority and a bowing of the head, had a two-fold meaning. It meant that the knight had such grave respect for the king before them that if the king so wish, they could cut off the head of the knight. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, but one cannot deny such a bold image. Lent is a time of reflecting and accepting our mortality, and what better way than accepting death. The genuflect, a sign of respect is also a sign of welcome. And perhaps the only way to defeat death, as Jesus did, is to accept and welcome it.
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Bring your genuflect deeper. If your body allows, bring your right knee all the way to the ground, leaving your left in a right angle or rectangular shape. You may also do these next steps sitting or standing. Bring your arms slightly to the side, palms facing forward, fingers spread open. Take your heart lift it high then slightly bend it over, bringing you into a slight bow. Breathe in and out. Notice the vulnerability of this position. And yet there is strength. There is no doubt why knights would choose such a pose and perhaps this is how Jesus would position Himself before taking up the Cross on His shoulders. Humility and reverence take an awful lot of strength.
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