In his Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father shared a profound and deeply encouraging message about sickness and suffering.
"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".
~From the Diary of Saint Sister Faustina~
Once when I was suffering greatly, I left my work and escaped to Jesus and asked Him to give me His strength. After a very short prayer I returned to my work filled with enthusiasm and joy. Then, one of the sisters [probably Sister Justine] said to me, "You must have many consolations today, Sister; you look so radiant. Surely, God is giving you no suffering, but only consolations." You are greatly mistaken, Sister," I answered, "for it is precisely when I suffer much that my joy is greater; and when I suffer less, my joy also is less." However, that soul was letting me recognize that she does not understand what I was saying. I tried to explain to her that when we suffer much we have a great chance to show God that we love Him; but when we suffer little we have less occasion to show God our love; and when we do not suffer at all, our love is then neither great nor pure. By the grace of God, we can attain a point where suffering will become a delight to us, for love can work such things in pure souls.
Posted by Ed Sousa, Sr. at 4:30 PM