Pope says Cross Reflects True Value of Humanity


  • Category:

(10 Feb 10 - RV) The greatness of human dignity and the full value of the human being are visible in the "mirror of the Cross", in seeing how God accepted to suffer for the sake of mankind.

One week before the beginning of Lent, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated his General Audience to the importance of the cross for our culture, our humanism, born of the Christian faith, taking his cue from the figure of 13th century Saint, Anthony of Padua:

"A contemporary of Saint Francis ... he helped lay the foundations of the Franciscan theological and spiritual tradition. Born in Lisbon, Anthony became an Augustinian canon and then a Franciscan Friar. His great eloquence and learning made him one of the great preachers of his time".

Pope Benedict said that his Sermons, imbued with the traditional spiritual exegesis of the Scriptures, offer a guide to growth in the Christian life and stress the importance of prayer as a loving and joy-filled conversation with the Lord.

"Here we see one of the principal characteristics of Franciscan theology: its emphasis on God's love, which grants spiritual knowledge and transforms our lives. At a time of great economic growth, Anthony called for the cultivation of interior riches and sensitivity to the needs of the poor. Typical also of the Franciscan tradition is his stress on the contemplation of Christ in his humanity, particularly in the mysteries of the Nativity and the Crucifixion".

In this Year for Priests, concluded Pope Benedict "let us ask Saint Anthony to pray that all preachers will communicate a burning love for Christ, a thirst for closeness to the Lord in prayer, and a deeper appreciation of the truth and beauty of God's word.