The "new crosses of today" at the center of the meditations, first of all migrants and exploited women and children. Francis prays for "the people who do not have the comfort of faith", "the consecrated who, along the way, have forgotten their first love", "the Church, your bride, who feels continually assailed from within and from without. "
Rome (AsiaNews) - "All the crosses in the world", were evoked by Pope Francis in prayer tonight, as he concluded the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, surrounded by tens of thousands of people:
"Lord Jesus, help us to see in your Cross all the crosses of the world:
The cross of those who hunger for bread and for love;
The cross of those who are alone or abandoned even by their own children and family members;
The cross of those who thirst for justice and peace;
The cross of those who do not have the comfort of the faith;
The cross of the elderly who are bowed down under the weight of years and loneliness;
The cross of migrants who find doors closed because of fear, and hearts sealed by political calculations;
The cross of the little ones, wounded in their innocence and purity;
The cross of humanity that wanders in the darkness of uncertainty and in the darkness of the culture of the fleeting moment;
The cross of families broken by betrayal, by the seductions of the evil one or by murderous lightness and by selfishness;
The cross of consecrated persons who tirelessly seek to bring your light into the world and feel rejected, mocked and humiliated;
The cross of consecrated persons who, along the way, have forgotten their first love;
The cross of your children who, believing in you and trying to live according to your word, find themselves marginalized and discarded even by their families and their peers;
The cross of our weaknesses, our hypocrisies, our betrayals, our sins and our many broken promises;
The cross of your Church which, faithful to your Gospel, struggles to carry your love even among the baptized themselves;
The cross of the Church, your bride, who feels continually attacked from within and from without;
The cross of our common home that withers seriously before our selfish eyes that are blinded by greed and power.
Lord Jesus, rekindle in us the hope of the resurrection and of your definitive victory against all evil and all death. Amen!".
The "new crosses of today" were also the focus of meditations, written by Sister Eugenia Bonetti, a Consolata missionary, president of the "Slaves no more" association. Thus they were evoked at the Second station: "the homeless, the hopeless young people, without work and without prospects, the immigrants forced to live in the slums on the margins of our society, after facing unprecedented suffering", the "many, too many mothers - remember the Fourth Station - who have left their young daughters to Europe in the hope of helping their families in extreme poverty, while they have found humiliation, contempt and sometimes even death ", the children, of the Sixth station " that cannot go to school and are, instead, exploited in the mines, in the fields, in fishing, sold and bought by human meat traffickers, for organ transplants, as well as used and exploited on our roads by many, including Christians, who have lost the sense of their own and others' sacredness". And "how many children are discriminated against because of their origin, the color of their skin or their social status! How many mothers suffer the humiliation of seeing their children derided and excluded from the opportunities of their peers and classmates! ".
Because, the warning of the Tenth station, "we have forgotten the centrality of the human being, her dignity, beauty, strength. While in the world walls and barriers are rising, we want to remember and thank those who, in different roles, in recent months, have risked their own lives, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, to save those of many families in search of security and opportunities. Human beings fleeing poverty, dictatorships, corruption, slavery".
"The desert and the seas have become the new cemeteries of today. There are no answers to these deaths. There are, however, responsibilities. Brothers who let thier brothers die. Men, women, children that we could not or would not have saved. While governments argue, locked up in the palaces of power, the Sahara is filled with skeletons of people who could notwithstand fatigue, hunger, thirst. How much pain the new exoduses cost! How much cruelty rages on those who flee: the journeys of desperation, blackmail and torture, the sea transformed into a watery grave ”.
The Twelfth Station: "Only Mary your mother and a few other disciples remained there, witnesses of your suffering and your death. Their example inspires us to commit ourselves not to feel close to those who are agonizing today in too many ordeals scattered around the world, including camps similar to concentration camps in transit countries, ships that are refused a safe port, the long bureaucratic negotiations for the final destination, the detention centers, the hot spots, the labor fields for seasonal workers ".
The meditations written by those who work on the ground, are also interwoven with real-life episodes, for example what took place “on a cold January night, on a street on the outskirts of Rome, three African women, little more than little girls, squatting on the floor warmed their young half-naked body around a brazier. Some young men, in order to have fun, passing by in a car threw flammable material on the fire, burning them badly ".
But there are also "many new Samaritans of the third millennium who still live the experience of the road, bending down with love and compassion over the many physical and moral wounds of those who live every night the fear and terror of darkness, loneliness and indifference".
Over all of this "we pray to you for those who hold positions of responsibility, so that they may hear the cry of the poor rising to you from all over the globe."