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Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
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Text of the Stations of the Cross for 2020, led by Pope Francis

POPE VIA CRUCIS

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Aleteia - published on 04/09/20

Third Station
Jesus falls for the first time

Walwyn | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

(Meditation by a prisoner)

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all(Is 53:4-6).

It was the first time that I fell, but for me that fall was death: I took someone’s life. It only takes a day to pass from a blameless life to committing an act which encompasses the violation of all the commandments. I feel like a modern version of that thief who implored Christ with the words “Remember me!”. I imagine him less a penitent than someone conscious of being on the wrong path. From my childhood I remember the cold and hostile environment in which I grew up. All it took was for me to figure out someone’s weakness in order to transform it into a kind of entertainment. I was looking for real friends, I wanted to be accepted for who I was, but I was unable. I resented the happiness of others, I felt hamstrung, they asked of me only sacrifices and to obey the rules: I felt like a stranger to everyone and I sought revenge at all costs.

I hadn’t realized that evil was slowly growing inside me. Until, one evening, my own hour of darkness struck: in a second, like an avalanche, the memories of all the injustices I had suffered in life exploded. Anger killed my kindness, I committed an evil immensely greater than any of those that I had received. Then, in prison the ill-treatment by others led me to self-hatred: I was close to ending it all, I had reached the limit. I had also ruined my family: because of me they lost their name and respectability; they had become merely the family of a murderer. I make no excuses and seek no reductions, I will serve my sentence to the end because in prison I have found people who have given me back the faith I had lost.

My first fall was failing to realize that goodness exists in this world. My second, the murder, was really its consequence, for I was already dead inside.

Lord Jesus, you, too, fell to the ground. Perhaps your first fall was the hardest because it was entirely new: the impact was hard and left you shaken. We entrust to your Father all those who are so caught up in themselves that they are unable to acknowledge the sins they have committed.

Let us pray.

O God, you raised mankind up when we had fallen. We ask you to come to help us in our weakness and to grant us eyes to see the signs of your love everywhere in our daily lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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