(Joh 2:4-5) And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.
CATHOLIC REVIEW ARCHIVES: World Day of the Sick: Prayers and reflections on illness, aging, tough decisions, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
VATICAN RADIO: Pope Francis’ message for 2015 World Day of the Sick
NEWS.VA: Pope Francis: Bring the light of the Word of God to the sick
The salvific work of Christ is not exhausted with His Person and in the arc of His earthly life; it continues through the Church, the sacrament of the love and of the tenderness of God for humans. Sending His disciples in mission, Jesus confers on them a double mandate: to announce the Gospel of salvation and to heal the sick (cf. Mt 10:7-8). Faithful to this charge, the Church has always considered helping the sick an integral part of her mission.
“The poor and the suffering you will always have with you,” Jesus warns (cf. Mt 26:11), and the Church continuously finds them along her path, considering those who are sick as a privileged way to encounter Christ, to welcome Him and to serve Him. To cure the sick, to welcome them, to serve them, is to serve Christ: the sick person is the flesh of Christ.
This occurs also in our own time, when, notwithstanding the many acquisitions of science, the interior and physical suffering of persons raises serious questions about the meaning of illness and of sorrow, and about the reason for death. It deals with existential questions, to which the pastoral action of the Church must respond with the light of faith, having before her eyes the Crucifixion, in which appears the whole of the salvific mystery of God the Father, Who for love of human beings did not spare His own Son (cf. Rm 8:32). Therefore, each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer, and to those who assist them – family, doctors, nurses – so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness. Mother Church, through our hands, caresses our sufferings and cures our wounds, and does so with the tenderness of a mother.
Let us pray to Mary, Health of the sick, that every person who is sick might experience, thanks to the care of those who are close to them, the power of the love of God and the comfort of His paternal tenderness.
INQUIRER.NET: Time to pray
Feb. 11 is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is also the World Day of the Sick. Let us continue to pray and become instruments of healing for those who are physically, emotionally and spiritually sick. Let us pray also for the healing of families and relationships. And let us pray for the healing of our land, and of the whole world.
May our sickness and suffering bring us closer to God’s heart. Those who go through sickness or suffering of any kind are recipients and channels of tremendous graces and blessings.
LINK: Live TV at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
OFFICE OF READINGS: From a letter from Saint Bernadette Soubirous, virgin
(Ep. ad Gondrand a 1861: cf. A. Ravier, Les escrits de sainte Bernadette, Paris, 1961, pp. 53-59)
The apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes
I had gone down one day with two other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river but the trees seemed quite still and the noise was evidently not from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale yellow rose, the same color as her rosary beads.
At this I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things, and I put my hands into the fold of my dress where my rosary was. I wanted to make the sign of the cross but for the life of me I couldn’t manage it and my hand just fell down. Then the lady made the sign of the cross herself and at the second attempt I managed to do the same, though my hands were trembling. Then I began to say the rosary while the lady let her beads slip through her fingers, without moving her lips. When I stopped saying the Hail Mary, she immediately vanished.
|Saint Bernadette Soubirous of the Lourdes Apparitions, 1858. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I asked my two companions if they had noticed anything, but they said no. Of course they wanted to know what I was doing and I told them that I had seen a lady wearing a nice white dress, though I didn’t know who she was. I told them not to say anything about it, and they said I was silly to have anything to do with it. I said they were wrong and I came back next Sunday, feeling myself drawn to the place....
The third time I went the lady spoke to me and asked me to come every day for fifteen days. I said I would and then she said that she wanted me to tell the priests to build a chapel there. She also told me to drink from the stream. I went to the Gave, the only stream I could see. Then she made me realise she was not speaking of the Gave and she indicated a little trickle of water close by. When I got to it I could only find a few drops, mostly mud. I cupped my hands to catch some liquid without success and then I started to scrape the ground. I managed to find a few drops of water but only at the fourth attempt was there a sufficient amount for any kind of drink. The lady then vanished and I went back home.
I went back each day for two weeks and each time, except one Monday and one Friday, the lady appeared and told me to look for a stream and wash in it and to see that the priests build a chapel there. I must also pray, she said, for the conversion of sinners. I asked her many times what she meant by that, but she only smiled. Finally with outstretched arms and eyes looking up to heaven she told me she was the Immaculate Conception.
During the two weeks she told me three secrets but I was not to speak about them to anyone and so far I have not.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Sober Living
40. A hermit said, 'If you lose gold or silver, you can find something as good as you lost. But the man who loses time can never make up what he has lost.'
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