Sunday, March 18, 2012

Via Crucis VII: Will I walk past unseeing?

Jesus falls the second time. In the midst of a jostling crowd, the Savior of all sprawls, gasping, on a street corner. He was still there yesterday. Will I walk past unseeing again?

'Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words even over 'I love you.' - James T. Kirk in The City on the Edge of Forever

Would I have helped that day in Jerusalem? Will I help now? How? A couple of weeks ago, at the height of rush hour, a man stood frozen on the steps up from the Market-Frankford platform. The crowd flowed around him, almost as if he were a statue, not a person. Not one of us said to him, "Let me help." Not one of us asked, "Can I help?"

It made me think about the Jerusalem to Jericho study described in a link left in a comment on the essay I wrote at This Ignatian Life. It prompting me to reflect about whether compassion is a hobby for me, or integral to who I am. Is helping others something I do if I'm not in a rush, or is my way of proceeding (to borrow a turn of phrase from the Jesuits)? I've been practicing waiting for a while, and slowly it's becoming how I move through the world. Do not run ahead of what you can do, advised Evagrius when it came to prayer, and it's likely good advice here as well.

(And yes, I do know that I'm a geek.)

Photo is from Walwyn via flickr used under Creative Commons license.


  1. I'm pretty sure that I would not have helped... and while I hate admitting that, I know it is likely true.

  2. Julianne1:00 PM

    I know I wouldn't! A few years ago, when I did the spiritual exercises in daily life, I realised that every time I prayed imaginatively over the events of Holy Week, I was always as far away as I could get to Jesus. In the corner at the Last Super, Behind a tree at Gethsemane, At the back of a huge crowd at the trial and at the bottom of the hill at Golgotha.

    I have got a little better, a little closer. But I still have to fight the urge to 'run away'. Last year I failed to engage with anything. This year? Who knows.