Lettera Madre 8 febbraio 2014
Borgomanero, 8 February 2014
My dear Sisters,
World Day of the Sick is celebrated all over the world on the 11th February.
Pope Francis commends the 22nd World Day of the Sick to the intercession of Mary, so that she will help sick people to live their own suffering in communion with Jesus Christ.
He underlines: Faith and Charity: “We ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another” (1 Jn3:16) – the theme for his year.
Drawing attentionin a special way to the sick and all those who provide them with assistance and care,Pope Francis begins his message by saying: “The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ. It is true…within our suffering, is the suffering of Christ; he bears our burden with us and he reveals its meaning … giving us hope, becausein the plan of God’s love even the night of pain yields to the light of Easter, and courage, which enables us to confront every hardship in his company, in union with him”.
He then underlines the fact that although the Son of God made man has not taken away human disease and suffering from human experience but by taking them upon himself he has transformed them…“The proof of authentic faith in Christ is self-giving and the spreading of love for our neighbours, especially for those who do not merit it, for the suffering and for the marginalized”.
Pope Francis highlights the need to approach those who are in need of care with tenderness adding that: “To grow in tender love, and a respectful and sensitive charity, we have a sure Christian model to contemplate: Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, who is always attentive to the voice of God and the needs and troubles of her children.She knows the way, and for this reason she is the Mother of all of the sick and suffering”.
Concluding his message he turns to the figure of St. John, the disciple who was with Mary at the foot of the Cross and who“takes us back to the source of faith and charity … to the heart of the God who “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). He reminds us that we cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters. Those who stand with Mary beneath the cross learn to love as Jesus does;”and herein particularis where we, as Sisters of Providence, find ourselves.
And we too, on this World Day of Prayer for the Sick, through the intercession of Mary, pray for allwho are sick: those among us and those we know, those who sufferphysically,mentally,psychologically; those who are afflicted or anxiousand alsothose who are without hope and in search of God.
We remember with gratitude all our Sisters in our Infirmaries and those who care for them;particularly the‘Casa dell’Addolorata’, celebrating this year (with a special novena of months culminating on 15 Sept, Our Lady of Sorrows) the 60th anniversary of its life-giving and loving service.
We pray also for Benedict XVI who made known his decision on this day in 2013, to resign from his mission as Pope, giving his failing health as the reason for his decision.
We know the very heart of Jesus’ own ministry was the care and cure of the sick: in our interaction with those who are sick or fragile or who are troubled, may we become a community of healerswho allow ourselves to be caughtup in the tenderness of Jesus and so transform our interactionwith others into genuine love, laying down our lives if necessary. Let us be aware too of the power of Jesus to heal us through the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
United in prayer.
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