.- Following a statement regretting the violence that has erupted in reaction to his quotation of a 14th Century emperor last week, Pope Benedict continued his weekly Angelus address with a reflection on the feasts of the Exaltation of the Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows, which also occurred last week.
The two liturgical feasts, the Pope noted, come together, “in the traditional image of the Crucifixion, with the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross.”
"What does it mean to exalt the Cross?” the Pope asked, asking if it was not a scandal to venerate the “shameful” tool of execution.
Yet, he continued, "Christians do not exalt any cross, but that particular Cross which Jesus sanctified with His sacrifice, fruit and witness of immense love.”
“Christ on the Cross spilt all His blood to free humanity from the slavery of sin and death. And thus, from a sign of iniquity, the Cross has been transformed to a sign of blessing, from a symbol of death to the symbol par excellence of the Love that overcomes hatred and violence, and generates immortal life," the Pope said.
In the same way, Benedict went on, Mary's suffering "forms a single whole with that of her Son. It is a suffering full of faith and love. The Virgin at Calvary participates in the salvific power of Christ's suffering, uniting her 'fiat' to that of her Son."
"Let us too renew our 'yes' to God Who chose the way of the Cross to save us,” he concluded. It is a great mystery that is still taking place, until the end of the world, and that also needs our collaboration," the Pope concluded.