The Cross, the Sign of God’s Love

Someone left this in a comment here. It’s from John Paul II’s message to the 2001 World Youth Day

“’Take up his cross daily and follow me’. As the cross can be reduced to being an ornament, “to carry the cross” can become just a manner of speaking. In the teaching of Jesus, however, it does not imply the pre-eminence of mortification and denial. It does not refer primarily to the need to endure patiently the great and small tribulations of life, or, even less, to the exaltation of pain as a means of pleasing God. It is not suffering for its own sake that a Christian seeks, but love. When the cross is embraced it becomes a sign of love and of total self-giving. To carry it behind Christ means to be united with him in offering the greatest proof of love. 

My dear young people, do not think it strange that, at the beginning of the third millennium, the Pope once again directs you towards the Cross of Christ as the path of life and true happiness. The Church has always believed and proclaimed that only in the Cross of Christ is there salvation.”

You can find his full message here or here.


  1. Joe,

    Great find and wonderful teaching on the Cross of Christ.

    I would like to comment on the statement “the cross can be reduced to being an ornament.” Seeing as I just wrote my architectural thesis on ornament, I think there is something edifying to share.

    Without doubt ornament in our culture and society has become regarded as something superfluous. However in the 1939, Andanda Coomaraswamy, an architectural theorist, wrote that ornament derives from the roman verb ornare. He writes,“Ornare is primarily to ‘fit out, furnish, provide with necessaries.”

    This is a short explanation of a thesis, but I like to think of the cross as an ornament. This is because the human soul is not “fit out” or “provided with necessaries” until it adorns the Cross of Christ. Also, the cross, until picked up, is not wedded with its form, and becomes devoid of its meaning (to him that does not bear it). But, when the human body wears this ornament and completes its function to love and serve the Lord, his life is beautiful. In this way one is sanctified by the sacrifice of Christ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *