The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time.
If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
Mt 13:7, 22
There is a part of me that finds it so painful to face this third fall of Christ. To think of all the “worldly anxiety” I allow to swirl without ceasing in my mind is staggering; how often the Grain is choked in my life by my own fears! How often do I panic and despair. I see Jesus fall in this Station and I believe all hope is lost.
It reminds me of my own failures and my own weakness (“Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured”). Not for lack of desire do I attempt to summit the mountain to God with vertical climb only to tumble headlong down the mountainside. Still more often I choose to do what I know is wrong, and it is for lack of desire. I want to do better but fall once again.
As painful as it is to witness the third fall of Christ, there is profound hope in his third rising.
Many times, dear Jesus, I promised you after having fallen to temptation by the flesh and the world, that I would never fall again. Your third fall, dear Jesus, is a witness that I have fallen by the snares of the devil. But by rising again, you have given me another reason to hope. You have taught me that there are two kinds of person I can be: a person who falls down and stays down, or a person who falls but gets up again. By this, your third fall, you purchased for me the grace of rising again each time I fall. The devil would give up the world to make me his own. You gave up your very life to keep me for yourself, to show me that I am worth saving.
Ven. Fulton J. Sheen
Have mercy, O Jesus, and restore in us the confidence that you have overcome the world.
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 Jesus Christ fell for the third time. He was extremely weak and the cruelty of His executioners was excessive; they tried to hasten His steps though He hardly had strength to move. (Kneel)
R: My outraged Jesus,
by the weakness You suffered in going to Calvary,
give me enough strength to overcome all human respect
and all my evil passions which have led me to despise Your friendship.
I love You, Jesus my Love, with all my heart;
I am sorry for ever having offended You.
Never permit me to 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
The Way of the Cross by Fulton J. Sheen