Thursday, March 08, 2007

John Paul II's Gratitude for Suffering

On May 29, 1994, Trinity Sunday, one month after breaking his hip on a slippery marble floor, John Paul II in the most forceful way: “I thank the Lord for allowing me to meet you here again at my usual place of work after several weeks spent in the hospital…

“It is to Mary that with particular affection we turn our gaze at the end of this Marian month in which we lifted up to her motherly heart the desires, petitions and tears of all humanity…

“And through Mary I would like to express my gratitude today for tis gift of suffering…

“I am grateful for this gift. I have understood that it is a necessary gift.

“The Pope had to stay at Gemelli Hospital; he had to be away from this window for four weeks, four Sundays; he had to suffer – he had to suffer as he did 13 years ago.

“I meditated on all this and thought it over again during my hospital stay. And once again I found at my side the figure of Cardinal Wyszynski, Primate of Poland (yesterday was the 13th anniversary of his death).

“At the beginning of my Pontificate he said to me: `If the Lord has called you, you must lead the Church into the third millennium. He himself had led the Church in Poland into its second Christian millennium

“This is what Cardinal Wyszynski said to me.

“Why now, why this year, why in this Year of the Family?

“Precisely because the family is threatened, the family is under attack.

“The Pope has to be attacked, the Pope has to suffer, so that every family and the world may see that there is, I would say, a higher Gospel: the Gospel of suffering by which the future is prepared , the third millennium of families, of every family and of all families.

“… I am indebted to the Blessed Virgin for this gift of suffering and I thank her for it….”

“I understand that it was important to have this discussion in the presence of the world’s powerful ones. Again I have to meet the powerful of this world and I must speak.

“With what arguments?

“I am left with this subject of suffering. And I want to tell them: understand it, understand why the Pope was in hospital again, suffering again: understand it, think it over!”

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