Play this music at the start of each station as you contemplate the image.
Hold your heart and the whole world in your hands.
Here we go again:
It’s easier to get up
after the first fall–
but after the second?
Something else is going on here.
Something else is keeping us from getting up.
Something else is tempting us to give up.
It’s not the fall, but that voice in our head
telling us: “See? It’s not going to work.
You can try and try and try,
but you’re just going to take another spill.
What’s the point?”
In case you don’t recognize it yet,
that voice is from the Evil Spirit,
that force that will take advantage of us
when we’re at our most vulnerable
and resort to anything
to lead us farther from God:
bitterness, and especially despair…
If you think our Lord didn’t experience these temptations
when he was at his most vulnerable,
The Letter to the Hebrews tells us:
“He was like us in all things
He went through it all:
disappointments, including temptations…
As we know, our Lord didn’t give in.
He didn’t give up.
Even on his second fall,
he picked himself up.
Sometimes what causes us to fall
isn’t so much our cross,
but all these additional weights we carry with us:
these inner voices that taunt us,
these negative thoughts that discourage us.
So what to do?
Don’t listen and don’t fall for them.
We can actually select the thoughts we listen to.
You can change your thoughts.
They need not define your day.
Don’t give these voices the power
to get you down or to ruin your day.
Make the decision to stop carrying
these unnecessary burdens.
Our Lord’s second fall on the road to Calvary
could well be a symbol for psychological falls.
These are falls caused not so much by the burden
of the actual cross we carry,
but by the additional unnecessary worries
that we heap upon ourselves.
(It may help to consider
shielding yourself from those negative tweets
and paranoia-inducing messages!)
We need every ounce of our energy
just to get through this pandemic.
There’s no point making it tougher
So the next time you find yourself on the brink
of falling into discouragement and hopelessness again,
tell yourself it’s understandable.
But ask the Lord to help you fight them.
Don’t drown in them.
Pray to the Lord to give you the faith
to keep your head up.
“Behold the Wood” (St. Louis Jesuits). Image for Station (Fratel Venzo). “Keep Your Head Up” (“Andy Grammer”)
Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and prayers below.