Cross shows true love does not exist without suffering, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God’s love poured out on humanity through the cross of Jesus offers healing and salvation to all people, Pope Benedict XVI said. At his Sept. 17 weekly general audience, the pope reflected on his Sept. 12-15 trip to France, which he said had brought him many blessings. “By a happy coincidence,” he said, Sept. 14 when he visited the Marian sanctuaries at Lourdes was the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, “the sign of hope par excellence because it is the testimony of maximum love.” He said, “In Lourdes, at the school of Mary, the first and perfect disciple of the crucified one, pilgrims learn to consider the crosses of their lives in the light of the glorious cross of Christ.” Pope Benedict told a packed Vatican audience hall: “The cross reminds us that true love does not exist without suffering; there is no gift of life without pain. Many learn that truth in Lourdes, which is a school of faith and hope because it also is a school of charity and of service to one’s brothers and sisters.”

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