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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

Seventh Station
Jesus falls for the second time

Walwyn | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

(Meditation by a prisoner)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. And they cast lots to divide his garments (Lk 23:34).

In the past, whenever I walked past a prison, I looked the other way: “I will never end up in there”, I said to myself. The times I did look, I felt sadness and darkness: I felt like I was walking past a cemetery of the living dead. Then one day, I ended up behind bars, together with my brother. As if that wasn’t enough, I also brought my father and mother in there. From the foreign country it had been, the prison is now our home: we men were in one cell, our mother in another. I looked at them and I felt ashamed of myself. I no longer feel like I am a man. They are growing old in prison because of me.

I fell twice. The first time was when evil attracted me and I gave in: peddling drugs, in my eyes, was worth more than the work of my father, who was breaking his back ten hours a day. The second was when, after ruining the family, I began to ask myself: “Who am I that Christ should die for me?”. The cry of Jesus – “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” – I saw reflected in my mother’s eyes: she took on the shame of all the men of the house to save the family. And I saw it in the face of my father, as he secretly despaired in his cell. Only today can I admit it: in those years I didn’t know what I was doing. Now that I know, I am trying to rebuild my life with the help of God. I owe it to my parents: years ago, they sold all that we had of value because they didn’t want me to live on the street. I owe it above all to myself: the idea that evil can continue to guide my life is intolerable. This is what has become my way of the cross.

Lord Jesus, once again you have fallen to the ground: crushed by my attachment to evil, by my fear of not being able to become a better person. In faith we turn to your Father and pray for all those not yet able to break free from the power of Satan, from all his allurements and his manifold seductions.

Let us pray.

O God, you do not leave us in the darkness and shadow of death. Strengthen us in our weakness, free us from the bonds of evil and shield us by your power, so that we may forever sing of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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