Monday, February 06, 2012
In his Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father shared a profound and deeply encouraging message about sickness and suffering. Here is an excerpt:
"One day Jesus said: 'those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick'. On that occasion He was referring to sinners, whom He had come to call and to save, yet it is nonetheless true that sickness is a typically human condition wherein we experience our lack of self-sufficiency, our need of others. In this context we could say, paradoxically, that sickness can be a 'healthy' moment in which to receive attention from others and to give attention to them! Yet it is still a trial, and can become long and difficult. When healing does not come and suffering continues, we can become crushed and isolated, our lives sink and become dehumanised. How should we react to this attack of evil? Certainly with the appropriate cures - over recent decades medicine has made enormous progress for which we are grateful - but the Word of God teaches us that there is a decisive and basic attitude with which to face sickness: faith in God and in His goodness".
"Even in the face of death, faith can make possible what is humanly impossible. But faith in what? In the love of God! This is the true response which radically defeats evil. ... We all know people who have borne terrible suffering because God gave them profound serenity. I think of the recent example of Blessed Chiara Badano, who died in the flower of her youth because of a terrible illness. When people went to visit her, they received light and faith from her! Yet nonetheless, when we are sick we all need human warmth. What sick people need even more than words is serene and sincere proximity".
"Let us too act like the people who lived in Jesus' time. Let us spiritually present all sick people to Him, trusting in His desire and power to heal them. And let us invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, especially upon people undergoing the most extreme forms of suffering and abandonment".