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The Fall

***For the next two weeks, I will be steering my Lenten Blog Challenge into the direction of The Way of the Cross, also known as The Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa. These names are used to signify either a series of pictures or tableaux representing certain scenes in the Passion of Christ, each corresponding to a particular incident, or the special form of devotion connected with such representations. I will be posting a Station each day, then reflecting on that Station. To read more about the Way of the Cross, click HERE.


The human body is not designed for this type of physical or emotional stress. Betrayed and beaten, dehydrated and dying, His legs give out. His body succumbs to intense fatigue. Jesus' back is shredded and His limbs are weary from the beatings that had begun hours earlier. Though fully divine, Christ's humanity is clearly seen in this moment as He falls to His knees. Every exhale reveals our Lord's exhaustion. Every inhale sends shock waves of pain throughout His body. Strength slowly returns to His legs as our Lord rises to continue on the way of sacrifice.  


We can identify most with Jesus in His walk as He falls. Our life is series of falls. Sometimes when we fall, others are happy because they are waiting for it. Sometimes, even though we are practicing Christians and our friends and family know it, we come across people in our lives that find joy in us falling as a "gotcha" moment. It almost feels like they are saying "See, you aren't perfect YOU Sinner, you!" Silly people-- they do not know what it really means then to be a Christian-- for it means we will fall, we will fail, and we will get back up and try again. For Catholics, we have the wonderful opportunity to get back up again in Reconciliation. We can confess our sins that we are heartily sorry for and have a firm intention of not doing again, and we become clean. If Jesus himself fell in his struggle, then why would anyone think we as HUMANS wouldn't fall? I guess what hurts the most is feeling abandoned by those who judge us for falling, those very people that don't even practice Christianity or admit to falling themselves, are always the first to judge our humanistic ways-- but we cannot give in to them. We must get back up, go back into the confessional, go back to mass, we must continue on our climb up the mountain. It is imperitive that we make resolve to be better and thank God for such a wonderful opportunity, because he already knows that we will make mistakes. When we feel weak during our fall, look around. Sometimes people will be there to pick us back up; sometimes people will be there to turn away and mock us. But always, no matter what, Jesus is there. He is waiting in the wings. He will pick us up when we lose our strength. We must remember that we are a human, we are sinners, we are Christian, and we are loved so much by Him. Christ can only shine on others through our cracks and breaks. For us to show others His light, He has to shine through us.

“The Christian soul knows it needs Divine Help and therefore turns to Him Who loved us even while we were yet sinners. Examination of conscience, instead of inducing morbidity, thereby becomes an occasion of joy. There are two ways of knowing how good and loving God is. One is by never losing Him, through the preservation of innocence, and the other is by finding Him after one has lost Him. Repentance is not self-regarding, but God-regarding. It is not self-loathing, but God-loving. Christianity bids us accept ourselves as we really are, with all our faults and our failings and our sins. In all other religions, one has to be good to come to God—in Christianity one does not. Christianity might be described as a “come as you are” party. It bids us stop worrying about ourselves, stop concentrating on our faults and our failings, and thrust them upon the Saviour with a firm resolve of amendment. The examination of conscience never induces despair, always hope…Because examination of conscience is done in the light of God’s love, it begins with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to illumine our minds. A soul then acts toward the Spirit of God as toward a watchmaker who will fix our watch. We put a watch in his hands because we know he will not force it, and we put our souls in God’s hands because we know that if he inspects them regularly they will work as they should…it is true that, the closer we get to God, the more we see our defects. A painting reveals few defects under candlelight, but the sunlight may reveal it as daub. The very good never believe themselves very good, because they are judging themselves by the Ideal. In perfect innocence each soul, like the Apostles at the Last Supper, cries out, “Is it I, Lord” (Matt. 26:22).”

--Fulton Sheen

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