Walking Through Calvary, St. Ignatius Style Part 4

Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

Once again, our Lord has fallen. Even with someone helping him carry the cross, he still falls down. If you’re imagining yourself as part of the crowd for this moment, what do you see in your mind? Are you seeing Jesus fall up close or do you see him from a distance? If you’re imagining yourself in Jesus’s place, how heavy is the cross or how deep are the wounds from the whip? Whomever you imagine yourself as, feel the dry, dusty air around you, the metallic scent of blood in the air, the harshness of the ground. Hear the noises of jeers and tears from the crowd around you.

Now what comes to mind when you think of falling down for a second time? Do you think of a frustrating point of your life? An addiction you struggle with? Place those struggles onto the cross and remember that Jesus has fallen for a second time, which means, sometimes we fail in trying to get out of these problems. But once again, Jesus gets back up and He calls us to get up alongside him.

Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

This particular station is painful for me. It’s one of the stations that can be found in Scripture. From Luke 23:28-31

Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us’. For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

The passage is painful to read because what Jesus prophesied came true. Modern society would rather be childless, young adults are drawn to stories of apocalypses (yes, there is a plural for apocalypse), and fully grown adults watch shows about anti-heroes and fantasy worlds where anyone can die, choosing to make fun of straight laced heroes, looking at knights in shining armor with a cynical eye. People try to justify living life without having a family. Teens and young adults try to find meaning in a wasteland of Top 40 music and addictive technology. We are on constant watch for some kind of end to the world instead of looking towards the future, building houses on the sands of vaguely positive sounding ideas. Whenever I meditate on this station, I pray for life to be valued at all stages. I pray for the unborn, I pray for an end to the death penalty, and I pray for all the lost souls of teenagers and young adults.

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