This last fall is devastating.  Jesus can barely proceed to the end.  Summoning all this remaining strength, supported by his inner trust in God, Jesus collapses under the weight of the cross.  His executioners look at him as a broken man, pathetic yet paying a price he deserves.  They help him up so he can make it up the hill of crucifixion.
I pause to contemplate him there on the ground. The brokeness that makes me whole.  The surrender that gives me life.

I pause to experience and receive how completely he loves me. He is indeed completely poured out for me.

As I treasure this gifted experience, I express what is in my heart.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Psalm 22 vs 12:

Be not far from me for I am in distress; be near, for I have no one to help me.

How frail at this stage is Christ in His human nature! Yet, He endured despite His weakness and failing strength. So must we carry on in spite of our infirmity and failings to do God’s work.

Dear Lord, sometimes we feel so wretched and so weak with the burden of our sins, that we just don’t have the strength or spirit to get up again. Help us then to remember you in that state, so weak and fallen by the burden of our sins. Give us the wisdom to know that it is in our utmost weakness, that we experience Your immense LOVE and MERCY for us. We love you Jesus.

 

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of his fierce anger. "From on high he sent fire; into my bones he made it descend; he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back; he has left me stunned, faint all the day long. "My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they were set upon my neck; he caused my strength to fail; the Lord gave me into the hands of those whom I cannot withstand."   (Lamentations 1.12-14)


O, my Jesus, in this mirror of suffering I see you, the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, prostrate on the ground, exhausted, weighed down by your pain, collapsing under our sins. 

In this icon I see your poverty, I see you, the great Shepherd of the sheep, crushed as a sacrificial lamb ...

This is the way in which we, too, must walk before we come to good pastures.

We are all called to walk to our own Calvary; called by our Shepherd into the light of the Resurrection ... beyond the Cross; beyond all tears, all suffering, all sorrow — to the home you have prepared for us from before all time ...

 

Meditation: 

Jesus, your journey has been long. You fall again, beneath your cross. You know your journey is coming to an end. You struggle and struggle. You get up and keep going.

As a child, sometimes I fail time and time again. I find it hard to get along with my sisters and brothers, sometimes I'm not honest, sometimes I'm lazy. I'm tempted to stop trying. It's just too hard sometimes.

As an adult, I often feel I should have conquered my weaknesses by now. I become discouraged when I'm confronted by the same problems over and over again. Sometimes I get weary. When I have health problems, I can become discouraged and depressed.

Help me think of the cross you carried. Help me continue to hope that I can make the changes in my life I need to. You didn't give up. I can have the strength to get up again as well.

My Jesus, by all the bitter woes Thou didst endure when for the third time the heavy cross bowed Thee to the earth, never, I beseech Thee, let me fall again into sin. Ah, my Jesus, rather let me die than ever offend Thee again.

Prayer

My Jesus, even with the help of Simon You fell a third time. Were You telling me that there may be times in my life that I will fall again and again despite the help of friends and loved ones? There are times when the crosses You permit in my life are more than I can bear. It is as if all the sufferings of a life time are suddenly compressed into the present moment and it is more than I can stand.

Though it grieves my heart to see You so weak and helpless, it is a comfort to my soul to know that you understand my sufferings from Your own experience. Your love for me made You want to experience every kind of pain just so I could have someone to look to for example and courage.

When I cry out from the depths of my soul, "This suffering is more than I can bear," do You whisper, "Yes, I understand"? When I am discouraged after many falls, do you say in my innermost being, "Keep going, I know how hard it is to rise"?

There are many people who are sorely tried in body and soul with alcohol and drug weaknesses who try and try and fall again and again. Through the humiliation of this third fall, give them the courage and perseverance to take up their cross and follow you.

 

Lord Jesus, 
the Church, born from your open side, 
is oppressed under the Cross of the divisions 
that distance Christians from one another 
and from the unity that you willed for them; 
they turn away from your desire 
"that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21) 
as the Father is with you. 
This cross bears down with all its weight 
on their lives and on their common testimony. 
Grant us, Lord, the wisdom and the humility 
to rise once more and to move forward along the path of unity, 
in truth and love, 
without succumbing to the temptation 
to have recourse merely to the criteria 
of personal or sectarian interests, 
in the face of our divisions (cf. Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 11).

Grant that we may renounce the mentality of division, 
"lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (1 Cor 1:17). 
Amen.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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