“A righteous man falls seven times – and rises again.” (Proverbs 24:16)
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you:
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Meditation: Resuming the cross
The seventh station pictures Christ falling for a second time, as the journey became more and more difficult for him. The repeated falls are signs of Christ’s understanding of our weakness. He knows that we are liable to repeatedly fall into sin, to struggle with suffering – or even want to give up altogether.
However, the Book of Proverbs reassures us that even righteous people will often fall and fail. The key is to get back up again – and to keep on going (Proverbs 24:16). Christ’s struggles with the cross inspire us to repent from sin, accept our trials and to find new strength.
One of the Servant Songs from the Book of Isaiah speaks of Christ’s weariness and failing strength. In the song, the exhausted servant of God proclaims: “My God is the source of my strength.” (Isaiah 49:4-5) When our strength fails, God will always supply the strength we need to start again.
O my Jesus, by this second fall under the weight of the cross, give me the strength I need to get back on my feet when I fall into sin. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a resolute spirit within me. (Psalm 51:12)
Sign from the Old Testament
The second Servant Song from Isaiah refers to the exhaustion of Christ, the servant of God who is despised by the people (Isaiah 49:1-7).
See the full image:
A. Stafford / Seventh Station of the Cross / Painted plaster cast / 1960-1965 / Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Simon Stock, Kensington