Saturday, March 21, 2009

Suffering will not have the last word

Respect life, said Pope Benedict XVI, even when it is marked with illness. On March 19th, the Pope met with patients and caregivers in the National Rehabilitation Centre, which was founded by Canadian Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger. There, he spoke of human suffering, exalting the Catholic Church’s commitment in the field of health care.

Thinking of the victims of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the Pope pointed to the Mystery of the Cross. The Pontiff acknowledged that in the time of trial, when “anguish increases” and “our physical condition is degraded, some are tempted to doubt the presence of God in their existence.” He went on to encourage the sick that it is precisely during these moments that we must think of Jesus, who died on the Cross for the good of the world.

“Contemplating his face on the Cross and recognizing the atrocity of his pain,” Benedict XVI continued, “with faith we can foresee the luminous face of the Risen One, who tells us that suffering and illness will not have the last word in our human lives.”