FATIMA, Portugal, MAY 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today told those suffering illnesses that they can overcome a sense of uselessness, and instead participate with Christ in saving the world.
After celebrating Mass in Fatima for today’s feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope blessed the sick with the Eucharist. He left them with a message of their value in the Church.
“[I]n the eyes of God,” he told them, citing “Spe Salvi,” “you are ‘worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way — in flesh and blood. […] Hence in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence con-solatio is present in all suffering, the consolation of God’s compassionate love — and so the star of hope rises.’”
The Holy Father said that with this hope in their hearts, the ill can “leave behind the quicksand of illness and death and stand on the firm rock of divine love.”
Not a burden
“In other words,” he said, “you can overcome the feeling of the uselessness of suffering which consumes a person from within and makes him feel a burden to those around him when, in reality, suffering which is lived with Jesus assists in the salvation of your brethren.”
The Pontiff said this is possible because Christ called everyone to follow him with the cross.
He explained that Jesus says, “Come with me. With your suffering, take part in the work of salvation which is realized through my suffering, by means of my cross.”
In this gradual embracing of the cross, Benedict XVI added, “the salvific meaning of suffering will be revealed to you” and thus will come “interior peace and even spiritual joy.”
The Holy Father concluded by encouraging the sick to entrust to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament “every setback and pain that you face, so that they become — according to his design — a means of redemption for the whole world.”
“You will be redeemers with the Redeemer, just as you are sons in the Son,” he concluded. “At the cross … stands the mother of Jesus, our mother.”
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29243?l=english