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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope: Cross is the mystery of Christ’s love, not ‘spiritual masochism’

Following the cross without Christ and his Resurrection reduces God’s love to a hopeless and masochistic form of spirituality, Pope Francis said.

Christians must beware of separating Christ from his humble descent to death and viewing it as a “mystery of tragedy,” the pope said at his first early morning Mass after the summer break.

“A Christ without a cross is not the Lord: He is a teacher, nothing more,” the pope said. “The other temptation is a cross without Christ, that is, the anguish of remaining down, depressed by the weight of sin and without hope. This is a type of spiritual masochism: only the cross, without hope and without Christ.”

Celebrating the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on 14th September, the pope reflected on the day’s first reading in which St Paul says that Christ “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

Because of Jesus’ descent “to the lowest point, even to humiliation,” the pope said, God “exalted him and raised him up.”

Picture: Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican on 14th September. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).