I will never forget the day. The rector of our seminary, mount st mary's, emmitsburg,MD, just announced that the upcoming papal trip to Baltimore had been cancelled. We were devestated. Pope John Paul II had fallen in his tub and fractured his hip. He would never walk without a limp again. He, however, saw a greater spiritual significance to his suffering. "How fitting", he would later comment, "that in this year, the year of the family, the Pope should have to suffer." Pope John Paul could see the attacks coming on the human family.Under the terminology "women's health "Pope the United Nations, prompted by International Planned Parenthood Federation was looking to use the day Cairo conference on population development to have contraception, sterilization, and abortion written into International law.law. The Vatican emerged victorious when Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto( Harvard educated)that managed to rally the Muslim world to defeat the initiative.
Today the attacks are still there. Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, using strongly worded language in his blog spelled out the difficulties for Catholics with the current HHS mandate. What is the response? We can learn from the example of Pope John Paul II, who united his sufferings to the cross of Christ. There is a passage in scripture that is problematic for many. St Paul states: "I make up in my body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ." Listen to the Pope on the establishment of the world day for the sick: "I have called for the yearly celebration of the World Day for the sick, emphasizing 'the salvific nature of the offering up of suffering which experienced in communion on with Christ, belongs to the very essence of the redemption."Pope In the Gospel of Life he notes: "In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everone the courage to adopt a new lifestyle, consistent in making practical choices-at the personal, family, and social and international level- on the basis of a correct scale of values:THE PRIMACY OF NEING OVER HAVING, OF THE PERSON OVER THINGS. This renewed lifestyle involves a passing from indifference to concern for others, from rejection to acceptance of them. Other than people are not rivals from whom we must defend ourselves, but brothers and sisters to be supported. The are to be loved for their own sakes, and they enrich us by their very presence."
Aren't those beautiful words? You and I are sinners. Because we are sinners we suffer. What the Pope is saying has the power to transform the world! If we unite our sufferings to Jesus not only do we change ourselves but we change the world as well! Who does not suffer on a daily basis? All of us are incomplete but if we unite ourselves to Jesus we are can conquer the world. Listen to the words of St Therese of Lisieux, she never left the convent, did nothing great in the eyes if the world except put up with grumpy nuns....now she is patronness of the missions, a doctor of the church, and considered by some to be the "greatest saint of all time":...."I thought of the mystical body of the church, but I could not recognize myself in any of its members listed by St Paul-or rather, I wanted to recognize myself myself in any them the all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I realized that if the church was a body made up of different members, she would not be without the greatest and most esstial of them all. I realized that that love includes all vocations, that love is all things, and that, because it is eternal, it is embraces. every time and place. "
Love the one you are with is the message. If that means you are alone, love yourself. If you are mother or father love your spouse and love your children. Does it hurt? Of course it does. Pope John Paul II offered up the pain if a broken hip and all the discomforts of Parkinson's for you and I. Don't you think we can offer the setbacks, the pains of everyday life as well. Got Suffering? As the milk commercial says...give it to Jesus...change yourself and change the world