Pope Francis: the lives of those with serious illness are worth living
December 30, 2014
The Holy See Press Office has released Pope Francis’s message for the 23rd World Day of the Sick, which will take place on February 11.
Entitled “Sapientia Cordis” (wisdom of the heart), the message offers a reflection on a verse of the Book of Job (“I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”).
“How many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are ‘eyes to the blind’ and ‘feet to the lame,’” the Pope wrote. “They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating.”
“This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome,” he continued. “It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is!”
“How great a lie, on the other hand, lurks behind certain phrases which so insist on the importance of ‘quality of life’ that they make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living,” the Pope added. “People immersed in the mystery of suffering and pain, when they accept these in faith, can themselves become living witnesses of a faith capable of embracing suffering, even without being able to understand its full meaning.”
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- Messaggio del Santo Padre per la XXIII Giornata Mondiale del Malato (Holy See Press Office, scroll down for English)
- Background: World Day of the Sick (CWN, 2/11)
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