IX. The third fall

Play this music at the start of your prayer.

Behold your heart and the world that it holds.

Station 09

The third fall no longer came as a surprise:
When he found himself on the ground again,
he was no longer bewildered
that his body had let him down–
he had come to expect it.

This acceptance made a huge difference
because when he fell this third time,
he didn’t have to take time
figuring out what just happened
as he found himself doing after his first fall,
or to spend all of his energy
resisting the creeping discouragement,
as he did the second time around.

So here we go again.
We know the drill by now: 

Get up.
Pick up your cross.
Keep going.

I went on a downward spiral the other day.

Well, it has been two weeks
of this global disruption.

Two weeks of daily bad news
and non-stop updates on scary statistics…

Two weeks of constant worrying
about friends who have tested positive– 
especially those hospitalized,
worrying about doctors and nurses working hard
and risking lives (Bless you all!),

–and worrying about my own possible symptoms (!)…

Two weeks of online Masses
and calls to every sort of prayer…

Two weeks of constant reminders
to wash your hands,
to observe social distancing…

Two weeks of artists coming together online
to make music and cheer us up (thank you!)…

Two weeks of every sort of claims
for cures and preventive methods…

Two weeks of helplessness and exasperation
over blatant ineptitude and corruption…

And two weeks of working really hard
to stay positive, to remain hopeful…

So I took another crash the other day–
and I gave my permission to do so.
It was okay, I told myself.

Our Lord reminds us today that what matters
is not that we never trip or fall.
What matters is that each day we keep trying
and do what the Lord kept doing on his way to Calvary:

Get up.
Pick up your cross.
Keep going.

Winston Churchill used to say:
“If you’re going through hell, 
just keep going.”

In short, don’t give up.

So just in case you feel
you’re on the brink of getting unhinged today–
or any other day, that’s fine.
It’s hard work to hope.
It can be exhausting to keep the faith.
So let’s agree to go gentle on ourselves.
If you need to, grant yourself the permission
to take a fall, to crash,
or just to be sad–even if it’s for the nth time.
But don’t stay on the ground.

After a while… get up.
Pick up your cross.
And keep going.

We owe it to ourselves.
We owe it to those we love.
We owe it to the world.

“Behold the Wood” (St. Louis Jesuits). Image for Station (Fratel Venzo). “Tomorrow” (Jennifer Nettles)

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17 replies on “IX. The third fall”

I think the reason why us Filipinos love ‘hugot’ is because we want to linger in the sadness, in the pain. However, most of us got caught in the hugot and never pull through. Worse, others feel that that state of sadness is permanent. The 9th station tells that yes, we should acknowledge that we, at times, fall but the Lord counts not the times we fall, but the times we get up. The Lord gave to us the Holy Spirit for us to get up and move on. Thank you Holy Spirit for the times you picked me up! Amen.

Tomorrow, a brand new day. Thank You Lord!

Let me wake up again every morning to do extraordinary fruits from ordinary tasks and from extraordinary plans You want for me.

It is so devastating to see Jesus fall on the ground and very tired ? like in our life.. We fall many times and hard and too tired to get up.. But as long we keep the faith.. It is the force of faith that keeps us going and stand up again.. I feel. The pain of Jesus in his cross.. Lets fight for Him and never lose our faith.. Amen..

I think Mr. Churchill should have said, if your going through hell, go through it.
Anyway, its true that we just have to pick up our cross, however, keep in mind that its not enough to pick it up but to pick it up with Him.

Last year at this time I was really down. I was in darkness. Life seems so impossible to move on. I figure myself like Mary at the foot of the cross in pain and suffering. The death of my mother and brother in a year is so difficult to accept. I was in that mourning, regrets, guilt feeling and feeling abandoned. Worse of all when no one understands me. There was a day when I want to give up after a confrontation with the person whom I thought she could understand me. It was at that dark moment when I feel really in darkness when a series of calls and text messages from friends reminding to get up and move on. Today, I thank you Lord for those persons who supported me and help me to get up once again and continue the journey. I consider those persons as you instrument to continue my journey. Lord, you get up for the third time. please remind to get up in my moment of discouragement. Let me be an instrument of your compassion to help people to get up and continue the journey. Thank you, Lord.

Thank you Fr. Johnny for your words of encouragement as we all experience the fears, anxiety, stress in this pandemic. We thank God for the faith which keeps us going , rising not giving up. May the Holy Spirit enlighten, revitalize each of us as we follow the light at the end of the tunnel.
We pray for all, esp. the frontliners as they bravely face the virus daily taking care of patients at the risk of their own lives. Mama Mary please cover us with your mantle of love and protection in Jesus name.Amen.

I’ve fallen more times than I could remember. I’ve carried my own share of crosses which brought me to the brink of defeat, hopelessness at times, and even desperation. But somehow, one way or another, I have overcome and got through all these hardships. I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel. I have not relented, never have given up. I have always believed in the old saying, “the greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising everytime we fall.”
But more than that, it was faith and trust in God that helped me to get up and rise again. And in each time I fall , He never failed to give me the courage to get up and instilled hope knowing always that as I rise, He will always give me a new beginning.
Thank you Lord for your abiding presence in my life and the constant reminder to entrust my life to you.
Thank you Fr. Johnny for another beautiful reflection. I hope you wont mind if I share your music video, “Tomorrow.”

Lord thank you that you are always there for us… no matter what happens… thank you for helping us to stand up when we fall…

Thank you for this reflection and the encouragement. It came at the right time. Our Lord is saying, “Trust in me, everything will be fine.”

Thank you so much Father. You are putting us under God’s feathers. We thank Him for gathering us under His protection. May God bless you now and always!

May we all emerge trusting and grateful. Amen.

it is hard when I can no longer see the start and the end of the day.
when it seems like everything is a seamless disarray
of events out of my control
and I feel like I am in an endless fall.

i try to fix my eyes on the Lord so that even when it spins so crazily
and all the good things in life are hazy
but I couldn’t find Him
and it was so chaotic and grim.

“He will catch me to stop me from falling,” I keep telling myself
He promised me and that’s the only thing I have left
the hope that this, too, shall pass
for nothing bad is intended to last.

Thank you father. This is such a beautiful and uplifting read for today. May we continue to be blessed and keep the faith.

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