V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)
V: Consider how the second fall of Jesus under His cross renews the pain in all the wounds of the head and members of our afflicted Lord. (Kneel)
R: My most gentle Jesus, / how many times You have forgiven me; / and how many times I have fallen again and begun again to offend You! / By the merits of this second fall, / give me the grace to persevere in Your love until death. / Grant, that in all my temptations, I may always have recourse to You. / I love You, Jesus, my Love with all my heart; / I am sorry that I have offended You. / Never let me offend You again. / Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.)
For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His spirit forth He sent.
"My Master, I shall follow wherever you lead..." I shudder as I hear His fateful words "Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." I see not Peter's weakness, but I see instead every time that I have promised to follow Him to eternity and then turned around in sin whenever the path becomes too hard. I see my loyalty during prayer, and my disloyalty at work and in the home.
"Judas, you betray your Master with a kiss?" My soul is swept off in a torrent of remorse as before my eyes appears, not Judas' treachery, but all those times when I have said to my Jesus "I love you" at the very same moment as I am offending Him with evil thoughts and hate in my heart.
Now as I watch Him fall, I see His bodily pain doubles and His spiritual pain multiplied by ten as the image of all those who have once loved Him, and then left Him, pass before my eyes. I see His agony of spirit and His interior groaning, and I see His outward fatigue equal last breath of death. I see Him, hardly able to move, rally Himself to go a little farther in the unending misery of the way of the cross. Briefly, I see myself bored as I traverse the way of the cross within the chapel, and He looks at me, just a moment, making known to me how much longer was His passion.
In a whisper, I say the words which my Lord must surely have been thinking: "If it is possible, let this cup pass from me... it is no use, those I love have all turned against me... I am weak, could I not save them by dying now?" But no, my heart speaks the words which must surely follow: "Not my will but thine be done... what greater love is there than to give my life for my sheep? I love each one, I will go on in obedience to your will, Father, and save your children." While still overcome with tears, I begin to understand the depth of this mystery of love which I had not before perceived... a love that loves always, and through every pain and fatigue, even when the love is not returned.