7 RELAPSE
Having fallen and having got up again you know - certainly after the umpteenth time - it would be an illusion to expect you will not fall again. It can be stated without exaggeration that everyone has their relapses, whether one has been before a judge or not. Could that be the reason why tradition has Jesus fall down again and again on his way to the cross? However that may be, it is a fact that another fall usually hurts more badly than the previous one, certainly when they are within a short succession of each other. The colours of this station - traditionally named 'the second fall under the cross' - are much more intense and in me they evoke a climax of sharp stabs of pain. The light green shades of the previous stations have retreated to the perimeter and have given way to blue. The prostrate Jesus is red with a pain that seems to rack his entire body. This is how he is lying there, after this painful relapse, completely defenceless, utterly alone, hands stretched out powerlessly before him, all wound, total desolation. Simon of Cyrene is nowhere in sight. Getting up, standing up, even being picked up seem utterly senseless. The thorn branches around him become thicker and tougher. The snares of death encircle him stronger and tighter by the minute. What we usually express- not without a great deal of exaggeration - with the words 'dying of pain' has become flesh in Jesus - and this is no exaggeration.