Falling From Grace… Finding Courage

As we continue with Jesus on his ‘Way of the Cross’, we are invited to reflect back on our own experiences of falling from grace and/or being falsely accused.

Station 9:  Jesus falls the third time…

A suggestion:

  • First: reflect upon what is happening to Jesus in this ninth Station
  • Next: ponder the Moments in the life of Mary MacKillop
  • Finally: reflect upon how this links with your own life
And they brought him to the place called Golgotha.Mark 15:22

The journey of Jesus to Golgotha, the “place of the Skull” is a slow, painful haul.  His journey towards public execution is designed to deter others from taking a similar path. He is verbally abused by onlookers as he struggles to maintain his last reserves of strength. Despite his fall for the third time Jesus finds an inner strength to continue.  It is his intimate relationship with God that enables him to rise once more.

Moments in the life of Mary MacKillop

Let no obstacle deter us from proceeding with courage.Mary MacKillop, 1893

Mary MacKillop knew what it meant to fall from grace in the sight of others. Debt was an on-going issue for Mary MacKillop and the Institute and this became a serious point of criticism from the authorities of the Church.  Bishop Reynolds writes to Mary MacKillop, “I am but too well aware of how you have violated religious poverty, and how you have squandered (I will refrain from using a stronger term), the means of the Diocese given for the Institute of St. Joseph and the charities under its care.”

Despite Mary giving a detailed account of how the money had been spent, and used in an appropriate manner the Bishop remained unconvinced.

Moments in my life

  • What happens within me when I am falsely accused?
  • What helps and what hinders me to seek forgiveness for the times I have falsely accused others?

Take a moment to reflect in silence upon these aspects of your life. Being falsely accused or falsely accusing another leaves us with a sense of soreness of spirit.  We can soon lose sense of our inner goodness and feel a sense of discomfort and unease.


Jesus, you know the harsh reality of false accusation as you journey to the cross.  Move my mind, heart and will to make choices that are life-giving for myself and others. Transform my desires so that I only long for that which is true and good. Lead me to that place within where I can find strength and healing and the courage for a new beginning.

Forgive my need to diminish others in order to promote my own sense of worth.  Help me to believe in my own giftedness so that I can delight in the giftedness of others.  Help me to learn as I walk with you on your way to the cross.

Download the print version of this reflection (PDF)

Stations of the Cross: A Journey with St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Valerie DeBrenni

© 2012 Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph

Available for purchase @ $7.95 from Mary MacKillop Place Bookshop, Mount Street, North Sydney, or online


Station 9, Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney. Used with permission.
Desolation‘: Mary Ryan rsj. Used with permission.
Slideshow image: Beach Leaf Green. Obtained from Pixabay. Used with permission.