Stations of the Cross 09 with Joan Chittister, OSB


Jesus falls the third time

The ninth station of the cross demands that we persevere in doing good, in being what we must be, in holding our course even when the pressures around us mount to break our spirits. Just when we think we have come to a plateau in life, things change. The job disappears, the home begins to fragment, sickness slows us down, relationships break our heart. It all seems useless. All the efforts seem to be for nothing. Then it is time to realize that there is nothing we now take for granted in life that wasn’t first considered either impossible to do or insane even to think about. That’s when getting up and starting over becomes one of the miracles of life. When Jesus falls, Jesus certainly wants to quit. But Jesus’ life was about taking the consequences of love and

justice. Quitting was not an option.

The questions with which the ninth station confronts us are challenging ones: Are we about something big enough to be worth every effort of our lives? And if not, why not? What great crusade is life about for us? Since when did complacency become a virtue when love is in need of repair at home and truth is in need of proclamation in public? If we are not involved in something that demands the unstinting best of us and threatens the very core of us, what is life about?


Jesus, when I am tempted to sit back

and let the rest of the world go by,

to ignore the big things of life or quit the hard ones,

raise me up to the measure of your own spirit

and enable me to start again.

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