Jesus Falls for the First Time

Jesus is praying. Jesus has been condemned to death, given his cross, fallen, and he prays. At least that’s what I see when I look at this station.

I know that’s probably not what the sculptor of this station had in mind. Jesus’ face is full of pain, his cross is on top of him, and he is on his knees.

He is on his knees.

Prayer is hard. I know I need to do it more often but it doesn’t come easy to me. I know it can come in different forms–walking, intentional actions, meditation–but consciously kneeling down and connecting with the divine is hard for me to do.

Not too long ago I learned about the prayer life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1956, it was an experience in prayer late one night that gave Dr. King the strength to move forward as a civil rights leader. It has been said that every major decision he made was consulted on in prayer.

César Chávez did the same thing. In the book Latino Religions and Civic Activism in the United States, Stephen Lloyd-Moffett documents Chávez’ Catholic mysticism and personal spirituality. Lloyd-Moffett discovered that Chávez would perform extended fasts which would lead him into encountering God. He writes, “These mystical experiences grounded, directed, and infused his program of social reform by serving as the basis for his decisions.”

It takes humility to pray. It takes trust to pray. It takes bravery to pray. Both of these men exemplify these qualities.

So does my Mom. She prays all the time.

Perhaps that’s why it’s not easy. Here’s to all of us finding the strength to pray!





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