The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.
Some [seed] fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
Mt 13:5-6, 20-21
Jesus, the Grain, falls a second time. In the past three stations we see the merciful love of Mary, Simon, and Veronica. But in this moment Jesus is alone, falling once again under the weight of his cross: the seed sown on rocky ground. For the past three years his disciples had received him and followed him with joy. But where were they now? Tribulation came, and they immediately fell away.
Recently I saw the movie “Risen.” I’ve seen a lot of “Jesus movies,” but to me, few, if any, have so beautifully captured the patient, merciful love of Jesus quite like this one did. One scene in particular sticks in my mind, of when Peter encounters the resurrected Lord. Immediately he begins to apologize and weep over his remorse for having betrayed Jesus, and Jesus is so quick to forgive him and restore him to his fellowship (and truly the disciples in the movie are a band of brothers), where fraternal love is palpable.
As we saw with Simon of Cyrene in the Fifth Station, the Cross is real, and the height of spiritual life is unity with him, even (especially) when it means crucifixion. It is far too easy to run from that. But on this eve of Holy Week, let us not flee the Cross, but, with Our Lady and St. John, let us be present to Jesus even when it hurts.
It is no small thing to give oneself unconditionally to Our Lord. He sees right down to the bottom of our heart. He sees within miseries, weaknesses, the possibilities of falls which you do not suspect, and in His infinite mercy and wisdom, He makes you follow a treatment which produces great results in your soul, although it be bitter to the taste. You must never look back, but abandon yourself absolutely into God’s hands.
Blessed Columba Marmion
V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)
V: Consider how the second fall of Jesus under His cross renews the pain in all the wounds of the head and members of our afflicted Lord. (Kneel)
R: My most gentle Jesus,
how many times You have forgiven me;
and how many times I have fallen again and begun again to offend You!
By the merits of this second fall,
give me the grace to persevere in Your love until death.
Grant, that in all my temptations, I may always have recourse to You.
I love You, Jesus, my Love with all my heart;
I am sorry that I have offended You.
Never let me offend You again.
Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross