Pope Francis met with nearly 5,000 members of apostolates dedicated to the sick and suffering, encouraging them to live lives transformed by love and to support others who suffer.
“Jesus teaches us to live the pain by accepting the reality of life with trust and hope, bringing the love of God and neighbor, even in suffering: and love transforms everything,” the pontiff told the members of the Apostolate of the Suffering and the Silent Workers of the Cross on May 17.
Pope Francis met with the members of the associations, both founded by Blessed Luigi Novarese, in the Paul VI audience hall. An estimated 350 attendees were in wheelchairs.
The Holy Father then reflected on one of the beatitudes of Jesus, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“With this prophetic word, Jesus refers to a condition of life on earth, from which no one is spared. There are those who mourn because they are not healthy, those who mourn because they are alone and misunderstood,” the pope said.Although “the reasons for suffering are many,” Christ understands them all, the he said.
“He gathered human suffering and assumed them in his flesh, he lived them profoundly, one by one. He knew every type of affliction, moral and physical: he experienced hunger and fatigue, the bitterness of misunderstanding, he was betrayed and abandoned, flagellated and crucified.”
Pope Francis emphasized that Jesus did not teach that suffering itself was good, but rather demonstrated how to live suffering in a positive way.
“By saying ‘blessed are those who mourn,’ Jesus does not intend to declare an unfortunate and burdensome condition in life to be happy. Suffering is not a value in itself, but a reality that Jesus teaches us to live with the correct attitude.”
—Catholic News Agency