“The ill, and those who suffer are, within the Church, not just the recipients of care and concern but first and foremost protagonists in the pilgrimage of faith and hope, testimony of the prodigy of love.”
Benedict XVI also thanked caregivers for giving their time and energy to help the sick. According to the pope, this shows God’s love continues to have a presence in humanity. That’s why he said an illness should be lived with joy that doesn’t forget suffering, but understands it.
The pope also stressed the role priests play in the lives of the sick and called it an alliance.
“The ill should call on priests and they must respond with God’s loving and saving grace.”
The pope also said that the Church must help the sick heal their physical and spiritual wounds and recalled the thousands of people who find strength and condolence in shrines.
According to Benedict XVI, the measure of humanity is its relations to suffering and the people who are suffering. He said the Church needs to help make sense of disease and look for the rest of the world to welcome suffering.