Families in Trial Are Not Alone, Says Pope

Concludes Way of the Cross in the Colosseum

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- After contemplating the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross, this year focused on the theme of the family, Benedict XVI encouraged individuals and families in difficulty to find in the cross the strength to press on.

The meditations for the traditional Good Friday procession in the Colosseum were unique this year in that they were written by a married couple -- an Italian husband and wife who are part of the Focolare Movement.

In his brief address to conclude the Via Crucis, the Pope reflected: "The experience of suffering and of the cross touches all mankind; it touches the family too. How often does the journey become wearisome and difficult! Misunderstandings, conflicts, worry for the future of our children, sickness and problems of every kind. These days too, the situation of many families is made worse by the threat of unemployment and other negative effects of the economic crisis. 

"The Way of the Cross which we have spiritually retraced this evening invites all of us, and families in particular, to contemplate Christ crucified in order to have the force to overcome difficulties. The cross of Christ is the supreme sign of God’s love for every man and woman, the superabundant response to every person’s need for love. At times of trouble, when our families have to face pain and adversity, let us look to Christ’s cross. There we can find the courage and strength to press on."

The Holy Father also affirmed that in times of trial, "we are not alone; the family is not alone."

"Jesus," he said, "is present with his love, he sustains them by his grace and grants the strength needed to carry on, to make sacrifices and to overcome every obstacle. And it is to this love of Christ that we must turn when human turmoil and difficulties threaten the unity of our lives and our families. The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn, the passover of all those who believe in his word."

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-34592?l=english