Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 5th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 5 “Simon constrained to help Jesus”


Then Jesus told his disciples,
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves
and take up their cross
and follow me.
(Matthew 16:24)






Helpless you stand there, my God.
You have gotten up from your fall, but your feet refuse to serve you,
now that your shoulders again have that heavy weight to carry.
Quivering and shaking you stand on your feet,
the cross acts as a support to keep you from falling,
but when you have to lift it from the ground to carry it farther,
you waver and threaten to collapse again.
Helpless you stand there.
In vain did your eye look around, to see if there was anyone willing to help.
Your enemies force the task on a foreigner who,
because he is in no condition to resist
and because he cannot do otherwise, will help you.
He seizes the cross and drives you forward with it. – – –
My God, I sometimes think that I would have acted better
and would have lovingly relieved you of the cross,
to lessen the weight of that terrible last journey.
I want to follow you on your way of the cross,
but I want to cast off every little cross, even the lightest.
I have no more desire than Simon,
in the face of the mockery of those who do not love you,
to show that I want to serve you.
My God, I will no longer be idle.
This very day I take up your cross and will try to carry it after you.


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