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It is the suffering already present in the world which we can either ignore or identify with. If pain were not real, if it were not the lot of so many, the way of the cross would be pathological. But in our world with its hungry and homeless and hopeless, it is pathological to live as if pain did not exist. The way of the cross means letting pain carve one's life into a channel through which the healing stream of the spirit can flow to a world in need.