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 the first fall of Jesus. Loss of blood from the scourging and crowing with thorns had so weakened Him that He could hardly walk; and yet He had to carry that great load upon His shoulders. As the soldiers struck Him cruelly, He fell several times under the heavy cross. (Kneel)
R: My beloved Jesus, / it was not the weight of the cross / but the weight of my sins which made You suffer so much. / By the merits of this first fall, / save me from falling into mortal sin. / I love You, O my Jesus, with all my heart; / I am sorry that I have offended You. / May I never offend You again. / Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.)
Christ above in torment hangs
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son
I was standing at the foundations of a great Temple. It was made of a stone lasting ages, and its halls were filled with an incense that gave witness to its royalty and power. I marveled at the engravings in the wall, depicting different moments in human history: there was Isaac on an alter of sacrifice, David playing a harp, Solomon blessing a Temple... but as I looked, I was surprised to see the next carvings to be a woman in childbirth, a child at play, a man laboring in a carpenter shop, a voice echoing in the desert, a great hand raising valleys and laying low mountains, a cup of water being poured over a Divine Head. As I was still gazing in wonder I became fearfully aware of a great rumbling as the Temple crumpled at my feet. The incense that had perfumed its halls rose up and formed an orb, in which I saw a single tear.
No sooner did I see this tear than it increased into a thousand tears as I saw a woman laying her face on the feet of Jesus. As she poured out her tears on His feet, and anointed them with precious oil, I saw the formerly lovely foot of Christ torn and bloody and covered in wounds. It was as if the sins of the woman had been transferred to those blessed feet.
I then heard a voice in the air say these words: "He was led like a sheep to slaughter," and saw Jesus led roughly away. A chain was around His neck and He was dragged almost off His feet by men with cruel intent. But in His eyes there remained a meekness and beauty, as He manfully struggled to keep up with the pace of the soldiers. In the shadows behind Him were twelve men, fear displaced the love that was in their eyes, and the lips of one were fresh from a kiss. The steps of the Man were determined as His eyes rose to heaven and He mouthed one final blessing to those behind.