.- Following the Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima this morning, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in seven different languages and delivered a special message of encouragement and hope to all who are ill. In offering their suffering to Jesus, he called them to find “interior peace and even spiritual joy.”
The Holy Father’s words came after Mass and just before he processed through the crowd with the Most Holy Sacrament.
Addressing the “dear brothers and sisters who are sick,” he said that through Christ’s Passion “in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence consolation is present in all suffering, the consolation of God’s compassionate love – and so the star of hope rises.”
He added that it is through hope that one can “leave behind the quicksand of illness and death and stand on the firm rock of divine love.
“In other words, 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.”
This is possible through the divine power that comes in the midst of human weakness, he explained.
This the “paradox of the Gospel,” the Pope continued, in which Jesus preferred to say, “take up your cross and follow me” instead of explaining why suffering exists.
In this way, “as you gradually embrace your crosses,” uniting yourselves spiritually to His, “the salvific meaning of suffering will be revealed to you,” Pope Benedict told them.
“In suffering, you will discover an interior peace and even spiritual joy.
I know it is Sunday morning and I should be in church, but I am not. I, instead am here writing on my blog. I remember so many Sunday mornings, when mom would come to my door and knock and announce it was time to get up and get ready to go to church.
I would do it, but my thoughts always went towards the number 3 door; which held all of my friends. I would think about what we were going to giggle and talk about. My how things change in life. There is still a simplicity about life, but we choose too many times to make it harder and bigger than it really is.
I bounced back and forth going to church through most of my young, adult years. Even when my marriage fell apart, I didn’t look to the heavens in order to get through the painful months. I preferred to take life into my own hands.
The ups and downs became bigger than it should have been because I was directing my life. Have any of you discovered that for the most part leading your own life and following your own rules has truly brought you that inner peace? Aren’t many days today led by rush and work of many hours, followed by stress that seems bigger than life itself?
It wasn’t until Al, my brother fell ill those seven years, that I finally got on track. It was difficult; I am not going to lie. Many days and nights I wanted to take over. Patience is not one of my highlights in my life.
It finally happened when my heart and soul connected with another human being. I began to feel Al’s pain. When he cried, so did I. I began to look for one good thing in my day. I began to pray more as I became tired in spirit, that God would get me through the next years.
I didn’t realize that I was learning life’s most valuable lesson; which is to lean not on thine own understanding, but to turn to God and to turn every part of my life to God. It was this that led me to a deeper understanding of how God could work in my life.
I see the miracles that he has performed in my life, when at one time I thought miracles meant a new car, or unexpected money in my hands. I made many mistakes and will make many more to come.
I just want to simply say, today my head and heart are turned towards you God, and to you, my friends. I want to bring a comforting word. I want you to know that I care. I want you to realize that my spirit is with you no matter where you live.
I love you my friends. Thank-you for chatting with me. Thank-you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.