Wednesday, May 2, 2007



Lord Jesus Christ,

You accepted for our sakes,
the lot of the grain which falls into the earth
and dies to bring forth much fruit (John12, 24).

You invite us to follow You on this way when You say,
"He who loves his life loses it,
and he who hates his own life in this world
shall keep it for life everlasting" (John 12, 25).

But we hold on to our life.
We do not wish to give it up,
but to keep it all, just for ourselves.
We want to possess it, not to offer it up.
But You go before us and You show us
that we can save our life
only if we give it away as gift.

You wish us, through our going with You
along the Way of the Cross,
You wish to lead us on the way of the grain of wheat,
the way of a fruitfulness which reaches up into eternity.

The Cross, the offering of ourselves,
weighs very heavily upon us.

But on the Way of the Cross,
You also carried my own cross.
No, You bore it in every moment of the past,
because Your love is contemporaneous with my life.

You bear my cross with me
and for today, and in a wondrous way,
You will that I, now, just as Simon of Cyrene did then,
carry Your Cross with You,
and that walking by Your side,
I may place myself at the
service of redeeming the world.

Help me Lord, that my way of the cross may not be
just a pious feeling which lasts but just a brief while.

Help us all, that we may accompany You
not just with high noble thoughts,
but to walk along Your way with our hearts,
or better, with the very real steps of our daily lives.

Help us, that we may walk with You
on this Way of the Cross with all our being,
and that we may stay always with You on Your own way.

Free us from the fear of the cross,
free us from the fear of the derision
of others around us.
Free us from the fear
that our lives may get away from us,
if we do not grab for ourselves
everything that life offers us.

Help us to unmask the temptations
which promise us life, but in the end,
leave us only deluded and empty.

Help us not to hold on to life, but to give it.
Help us in walking on the way of the grain of wheat,
to find that in "losing life,"
we gain life in fullness (John 10, 10).

Prayer by Pope Benedict XVI for the
2005 Stations of the Cross
at the Colloseum in Rome
Translated by Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ