Vatican Aide: Suffering Reveals God's Love

Underlines Pope’s Message for World Day of the Sick

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The objective of miracles, as well as suffering and sickness, is to help man discover the love of God, explained the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated this in the latest edition of Octava Dies, in which he spoke about Benedict XVI’s activities for the World Day of the Sick, observed Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
 
“The Pope wished to celebrate solemnly and preside personally over the Mass on the occasion of the World Day of the Sick,” the priest said.

He explained that the Pontiff wanted “to underline with his words what miracles consist of, namely, signs that arouse wonder, as they illumine in a profound way the immense reality of human suffering.”
 
“Suffering is the place where love, sorely tested, is manifested in the most intense and pure way,” Father Lombardi said.

He added that “in the weakness of the gravely ill person” it is “increasingly evident” that “the relationship of love, given and received, is the authentic revelation of a life reduced to the essential; all the rest no longer matters.”
 
The priest continued: “We don’t know if a world without suffering could have existed.

“In ours there is an ocean of it, but this suffering is not only man’s, it is also of God’s heart and can manifest love.”
 
He stated, “Can one understand and live the mysterious meaning of suffering in a world without God and without the cross of Christ?”

“It is immensely difficult, perhaps impossible,” Father Lombardi affirmed.

He continued: “This is why suffering is an essential part of the life and service of the Church: to sustain the hope of the world.”

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