Third Station Jesus falls the first time

The heavy Cross cuts and tears into Our Lord's shoulders.

The crowd has swollen into a multitude, and the legionaries can scarcely contain the angry, surging mob which, like a river that has burst its banks, flows through the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem.

The worn out body of Jesus staggers now beneath the huge Cross. His most loving Heart can barely summon up another breath of life for his poor wounded limbs.

To right and left, Our Lord sees the multitude moving around like sheep without a shepherd. He could call them one by one by their names, by our names. There they are, those who were fed at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, those who were cured of their ailments, those he taught by the lakeside, on the mountain and in the porticoes of the Temple.

A sharp pain pierces the soul of Jesus; Our Lord falls to the ground exhausted.

You and I can say nothing: now we know why the Cross of Jesus weighs so much. We weep over our wretched failings and also for the terrible ingratitude of the human heart. From the depths of our soul there comes an act of real contrition, that lifts us up from the prostration of sin. Jesus has fallen that we might get up again, each and every time.

Points for meditation

1. Sad? … Because you have fallen in that little battle?

No! Be cheerful! Because in the next one, thanks to God's grace and to your humiliation now, you will conquer!

2. As long as there is struggle, ascetical struggle, there is interior life. That is what Our Lord is asking of us: the will to want to love him with deeds, in the little things of every day.

If you have conquered in little things, you will conquer in big ones.

3. 'This man is dying. There is nothing more to be done…'

It happened years ago in a hospital in Madrid.

After his confession, when the priest gave him his crucifix to kiss, that gypsy started to shout, and no one could stop him:

'I can't kiss Our Lord with this filthy mouth of mine!'

'But listen, very soon you are going to embrace him and give him a big kiss, in heaven!

4. You speak and no one listens. And if they do listen, they don't understand. You are always misunderstood!… Agreed. But in any case, in order that your cross may take on the full meaning of Christ's Cross, that is how you have to work now, with nobody taking any notice of you. Others will understand you.

5. How many through their pride and imagination, enter upon calvaries that have nothing to do with Christ's!

The Cross you must shoulder is divine. Do not allow yourself to carry any human cross. If you ever get caught in this snare, rectify your intention immediately: it will be enough for you to consider that He has suffered infinitely more for love of us.

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