April 9, 2001
volume 12, no. 99


  On Good Friday in 2000, the Holy Father led the Via Crucis meditations with his own words while leading the faithful on the traditional Papal Way of the Cross. His deep spirituality, renewed by a spontaneous visit to Mount Calvary, within the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre during his "Jubilee Journey" to the Holy Land last year is an inspiration we want to share with our readers.

A Plenary Indulgence is attached to this devotion according to article 194 of the Raccolta.

      Stabat Mater:

        At the Cross her station keeping
        stood the mournful Mother weeping,
        close to Jesus to the last.

7. Jesus Falls for the Second Time

    We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
    (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

        MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, failure and disappointment sometimes lead me to despair. I hide behind my pride and self-pity, withdrawing from You and others. Give me the hope I need and help me never to be afraid to begin again.

        "I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people" (Ps 22:6). These words of the Psalm come to mind as we see Jesus fall to the ground a second time under the Cross.

        Here in the dust of the earth lies the Condemned One. Crushed by the weight of His Cross. His strength drains away from Him more and more. But with great effort He gets up again to continue His march.

        To us sinners, what does this second fall say? More than the first one, it seems to urge us to get up, to get up again on our way of the cross.

        Cyprian Norwid wrote: "Not behind us with the Savior's Cross, but behind the Savior with our own Cross." A brief saying, but one that conveys much truth. It explains how Christianity is the religion of the Cross. It tells us that every person here below meets Christ Who carries the Cross and falls under its weight. In His turn, Christ, on the way to Calvary, meets every man and woman and, falling under the weight of the Cross, does not cease to proclaim the good news.

        For two thousand years the gospel of the Cross has spoken to man. For twenty centuries Christ, getting up again from His fall, meets those who fall.

        Throughout these two millennia many people have learned that falling does not mean the end of the road. In meeting the Savior they have heard His reassuring words: "My grace is sufficient for you; for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Comforted, they have gotten up again and brought to the world the word of hope which comes from the Cross. Today, having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, we are called to penetrate more deeply the meaning of this encounter. Our generation must pass on to future centuries the good news that we are lifted up again in Christ.


        Lord Jesus Christ, You fall under the weight of human sin and you get up again in order to take it upon Yourself and cancel it. Give to us, weak men and women, the strength to carry the cross of daily life and to get up again from our falls, so that we may bring to future generations the Gospel of Your saving power. To You, O Jesus, our support when we are weak, be praise and glory for ever.

    R. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Tomorrow: Station Eight: Jesus comforts the woman of Jerusalem.

For the shorter meditative group of lessons on the full Stations of the Cross, see WAY OF THE CROSS

For previous meditative Stations composed by the Holy Father, see:
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus willingly takes up His Cross
3. Jesus falls the First Time
4. Jesus meets His Blessed Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

April 9, 2001
volume 12, no. 99
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