I smiled this morning when I read the Zenit translation of Pope Francis’ General Audience address to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square.
I love it when Pope Francis “coincidentally” addresses something that touches upon my personal life. This happens often, because the Holy Father usually speaks about the situations and and experiences that everyday Catholics face.
Yesterday, I wrote about the passing of my mother and the ways in which I’m grappling with that. Today, Pope Francis spoke about mourning the loss of a loved one, a fairly timely topic for me right now. Perfect.
After that post, I heard back from many readers grappling with similar circumstances in their own lives. I’m sorry for their suffering, and grateful that God used me as an instrument to offer them some hope.
When I read the text of the pope’s address, my own hope was heightened, One paragraph in particular struck me:
In the People of God, with the grace of his compassion given in Jesus, many families demonstrate with facts that death does not have the last word. And this is a real act of faith. Every time that a family in mourning — also terrible — finds the strength to protect the faith and love that unites us to those we love, it impedes death, already now, from taking everything. The darkness of death is confronted with a more intense work of love. “My God, lighten my darkness!” — is the invocation of the liturgy of the evening. In the light of the Resurrection of the Lord, who does not abandon any one of those that the Father has entrusted to him, we can take away from death its “sting,” as the Apostle Paul says (1 Corinthians 15:55); we can impede its poisoning our life, rendering our affections vain, making us fall into the darkest void.
I read that one twice, and you might want to also.
Death does not have the last word: God does. He will lighten the darkness that grips our hearts and will not abandon us nor our loved ones.
This sentence from the following paragraph will be the fodder for my meditation today:
If we let ourselves be sustained by this faith, the experience of bereavement can generate a stronger solidarity of family bonds, a new openness to the sorrow of other families, a new fraternity with the families that are born and reborn in hope.
That’s a mouthful, to say the least. My petition today for myself and for all of you?
That we all may be born and reborn in hope.
Image: Wikicommons, CC