Pope to Sick: Offer Sufferings for Vocations

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today encouraged sick people to offer their sufferings for vocations, in view of next Sunday’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

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The Pope made this recommendation during his traditional greetings at the end of the general audience.

He expressed his hope that young people would “find in the dialogue with God your personal response to his plan of love”; and that newlyweds would “draw from daily prayer the strength to build a genuine Christian family.”

To those suffering illnesses, he said: “I invite you, dear sick, to offer your sufferings so that numerous and holy vocations will mature.”

The Christian practice of “offering sufferings” is one that this Pope has tried to renew.

In his 2007 encyclical “Spe Salvi,” he wrote: “There used to be a form of devotion — perhaps less practiced today but quite widespread not long ago — that included the idea of ‘offering up’ the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating ‘jabs,’ thereby giving them a meaning. […]

“What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ’s great ‘com-passion’ so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love. Maybe we should consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves.”

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