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Pope Francis at general audience discusses how to cope with the death of a relative

2015-06-17

(-VIDEO ONLY-) During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis spoke about how to cope with the death of a relative

The Pope said that it's especially painful for parents to lose a child or for very young children to lose a parent. He added that people shouldn't hold back their tears or emotions when faced with a difficult situation like that.

At the same time, he said that love transcends death and that loved ones who leave us are now in the hands of God. Further, God will return them to their families, as Jesus did with the son of the widow of Nain.

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our ongoing catechesis on the family, I wish to reflect on one of the more dramatic and painful events that every person, without exception, has to deal with, namely, the death of a family member. Jesus has compassion on those who mourn, as today’s Scripture reading reminds us, because the death of a loved one is never without pain for families; this is especially true of parents who lose a child.  Jesus’ presence with the widow at Na’in assures us that he is with us in our darkest moments and that he is with us in our loss and mourning. 

Through faith in him, in his Resurrection and his abiding presence, we can face our loss,"the sting of death,” as Saint Paul calls it, make sense of it, and have confidence that death does not have the last word. May we, with Christ-like tenderness and compassion, know how to be close and offer consolation to families suffering the loss of a loved one.

Above all, may we always be witnesses to the love which Christ revealed through his cross and resurrection, a love stronger than death. Let us also be grateful for our faith in him, which is the only adequate response to our deepest needs in the face of the death of a loved one.


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