.- On Friday evening Pope Benedict XVI led a group of pilgrims in praying the Stations of the Cross at the ancient Coliseum of Rome. The Holy Father recalled that the Christian God, “has a heart of flesh,” to love and forgive us.
As the Pontiff led the way through the several stations of Christ’s road to Golgotha, he was joined in carrying the cross by representatives of diverse parts of the world and different ministries and vocations in the Church. In addition to the Holy Father, the others who carried the cross included Cardinal Camillo Ruini, a young lady from the Diocese of Brazzalville (Republic of Congo), a family from the Diocese of Rome (Italy), a young man from the Diocese of Talca (Chile), a young lady from the Diocese of Incheon (North Korea), another young person from China, two Franciscan Friars from the Holy Land and a young person from the Archdiocese of Luanda (Angola).
“Following Jesus on the way of his Passion,” the Holy Father said, “we look upon not only the passion of Jesus but also that of all of the suffering people of the world.”
“This is the profound intention of the prayer of the Way of the Cross: to open our hearts and help us to see with the heart,” continued the Pope, explaining that, “the Fathers of the Church considered the greatest sin of the pagan world to be the insensibility and hardness of heart. For this they loved to call on the Prophet Ezekiel, who wrote of God, ‘I will take your hearts of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’”
“Our God is not a distant God, untouchable in his blessedness, but one who has a heart,” the Holy Father said. “To convert ourselves to Christ means receiving a heart of flesh, sensible to the passion and suffering of others.
Our God, he continued, “has a heart of flesh, made flesh itself precisely to suffer with us and to be with us in our sufferings.”
“He became man to give us a heart of flesh and to arouse in us a love for the suffering and the needy. Let us pray for all the suffering of the world, that God may really give us a heart of flesh and make us messengers not only with words, but with all our life,” the Holy Father concluded.