The Way of the Cross, the ‘filth’ in the Church and the ‘decay’ of ideologies AsiaNews on the meditations of Cardinal Ratzinger:
Jesus’ own words in the eight station, when he reproaches the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him, should be seen as “directed at a piety which is purely sentimental, one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith”.
“It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgment. Can it be that, despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering, we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus, and quietly set aside the word of judgment? ‘How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?’ we say. ‘We are only human!’ Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son, we see more clearly the seriousness of sin, and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome. Before the image of the suffering Lord, evil can no longer be trivialized. To us too, he says: ‘Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves . . . if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?'”
“Amid the decay of ideologies,” writes Ratzinger by way of conclusion, “our faith needs once more to be the fragrance which returns us to the path of life. At the very moment of his burial, Jesus’ words are fulfilled: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’ (John, 12:24). Jesus is the grain of wheat which dies. From that lifeless grain of wheat comes forth the great multiplication of bread which will endure until the end of the world.”
- Way of the Cross at the Coliseum: Meditations and Prayers by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger on the Vatican website. Good Friday, 2005.