In the biblical account, Jesus meets his afflicted mother at the fourth station. Mary, the mother of Jesus is wrought with grief; Mary Magdalene is seen trying to comfort her. Mary can’t bear to see her beloved son wrecked and bloodied, just hours away from death. What mother could? And Jesus, turns toward his mother, probably after hearing his name called, and he sees his agony in her eyes, and his expression reflects back to her her own grief. His agony is hers, and her grief is his.
Propelled by our goals and dreams we forge ahead, at times invigorated and driven, and other times, our pace slows from exhaustion and disillusionment. The weight of our crosses oppress, and we wonder ‘What is this for?’ ‘Is my suffering meaningful?’ ‘Why me?’ We may feel isolated and alone, that our suffering is singular and no one else could understand what we’ve experienced. And then we witness the suffering of another, or are comforted by a commrade, and we realize we are not alone, and that our pain isn’t exclusively ours. And, the love and empathy we feel for others, and its exquisite reciprocation lightens our hearts and gives us strength. The Lakota say “Mitakue Oyasin,” that we are all related. Indeed, we are connected by our spiritual essence, our god-self.
Numbered IV, the ‘I’ meets ‘V‘. Looking at the symbols themselves,V is feminine, a receptacle. The numerological message around this station is 4, and the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Daleth, which means door or womb. V is the symbol for earth and matter(Roman numeral V is five, I know. Stay with me!) and the number four vibrates around earth, matter, the physical plane. Interestingly, the word matter is just one letter away from the latin mater, meaning mother.
Curiously, in this particular relief, Jesus’ ear is exposed, looking very much like the 10th Hebrew letter Yod. 10 reduces to a 1. 1 plus V, God plus earth, spirit plus matter. I believe that the fourth station is Catholicism’s very poignant represenation of quantum entanglement.
The lesson of this station is empathy, and in the web of interaction, we experience our interconnectedness, feeling profoundly love in all its manifestations in the fourth, our heart chakra.