Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 7th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 7 “Jesus falls the second time”


I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light; against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long.
He has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
(Lamentations 3:1-3.9.16)




My God, you can go no farther.
Even walking under the cross, which strong arms make lighter,
is too much for you.
The cross weighs on your shoulders.
The stumbling ceases, for your feet refuse to serve you;
you fall to the ground. You can go no farther.
A moment’s relaxation may make possible a final exertion of strength
and enable you to stand up.
Your strength has abandoned you,
and powerless, you bow your head to the ground.
O impotence of my God, O frightful humiliation, O horrible fall!
Your garment rasps your wounded skin and tears your wounds.
The hard, sharp, stony ground, covered with dust and dirt,
bruises and dirties your hands, knees and feet.
Yet, no pity rises in the hearts of your executioners.
They are not satisfied yet.
They do not realize that this second fall shows
that you are calling on your last reserve of strength
in order to reach Calvary and die for us there.
You also sacrifice your strength, your proud manly strength. – – –
And then I complain about heavy crosses.
I faint only because I have neither the courage
nor the love to carry them with you.
O Jesus, I do not wish it to be so.
Do not allow my deeds to be at variance with your will.


Rolf Willemsen, O. Carm.
Fr. Rolf "Nepi" Willemsen, O. Carm., is a Carmelite priest living in Joliet, IL.
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