O, Cross of Christ.......
On Good Friday, Pope Francis closed the reenactment of the Way of the Cross with a beautiful prayer entitled,
“To the Cross of Christ” I was amazed at the way our Holy See led us to see how we as humans carry our crosses or refuse to carry our crosses. As I watched him pray this heartfelt prayer I had tears in my eyes and was compelled to post a copy of his prayer on a Catholic Facebook page that I administrate.
I posted this prayer and a few days later reviewed the comments and a person asked a compelling yet misunderstood question-
“Why is he addressing the cross? That seems to lack sense.”
At first I thought, “Well yes, why is the Holy See addressing the Cross and not our Lord and Savior?”Then my next thought was of Luke 28:12 “Oh, ye of little faith?” Was he a doubter? I was compelled to answer his question and I prayerfully discerned my response-
Why was Pope Francis addressing the cross?
In this prayer, The Holy See is speaking about the symbolism of the way of the Cross. It is true that the Cross is a sign of both suffering and redemption. His prayer specifically states that the Cross of Christ can be seen... and gives specific examples that follows. i.e. In the prayer, Pope Francis spoke of traitors, arms dealers, and those who destroy “our common home.”
“Today too we see you in the faces of children, of women and people, worn out and fearful, who flee from war and violence and who often only find death and many Pilates who wash their hands.”
The Roman Pontiff also prayed for those who seek to remove God from public places and public life “in the name of a pagan laicism or that equality you yourself taught us.”
The Cross of Christ, the Pope said, is seen among the abandoned elderly, as well as among the migrants who have died attempting to make the passage to Europe.
In addition to the hardships, Pope Francis recounted in the prayer how the Cross is also found among men and women of goodwill: families, volunteers, consecrated men and women “who have left everything to bind up, in evangelical silence, the wounds of poverty and injustice.”
On Good Friday, throughout the day and through the evening, Catholics around the world joined in Way of the Cross processions — the symbolic walk with Jesus from his trial before Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion on Calvary. Walkers reflected on the sufferings Jesus endured leading up to his death.
In Rome, after the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis presided over the Way of the Cross service at Rome’s Colosseum. In our daily lives there are many who carry heavy crosses..
If we were to walk the streets of old Jerusalem today we would discover plaques along the way that indicated the Stations of the Cross. …
There are other current roads around the world where modern cross-bearers share (Christ’s) Cross — the paths of Africa where Catholic Priest and Nuns are killed on a daily basis, the winding roads to homeless shelters, the streets past foreclosed houses, those who are in prison and those who are forgotten” that Pope Francis wrote in his introduction.
Christ still walks beside his followers as they carry their own heavy crosses. It is these modern-day crosses that are brought to mind and to prayer in these contemporary Stations of the Cross. These Stations are meant to be thought and prayer provoking. Pope Francis shows people that only by walking the Way of the Cross can they discover the “Way of the Light” — the glory of God resurrected and the salvation of mankind
Did it not prompt you to reflect and pray after hearing this most precious prayer from our Holy See?