Stations of the Cross 03 with Joan Chittister, OSB
Jesus falls the first time
The third station of the cross reminds us that success often looks like failure. We do things that seem to falter, to fizzle, to miscarry only to discover later that the floundering was part of the process. If Jesus had not fallen under the cross, who of us could possibly have come to see that what appears to be collapse may actually be the beginning of success. “What we call failure is not the falling down,” the proverb says, “but the staying down.” The fact is that Jesus could have stayed down where he fell, decided that he’d gone far enough, left it to his executioners to drag him the rest of the way. But he didn’t. Instead, he showed us all that the important things in life are worth struggling for to the end.
The question with which the third station confronts us is a simple one: Is the struggle of my life worth enough to struggle for to the end? If I am not engaged in a large enough life issue, no amount of struggle can dignify the paltriness of it. On the other hand, if the struggle of my life is equal to the Gospel, to the coming of the Reign of God here and now, no amount of duress can deter it.
Jesus, when I fall under the weight
of my good intentions, when quitting seems
so much easier than going on, give me the
determination to get up and begin again.
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