Our Lady in suffering and infirmity...

My readers and dear fellow academicians, here are some thoughts from the homily for the World Day of the Sick, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes delivered by + Bishop Anthony Fisher on 11 February 2010 at the meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Chapel of Domus Sanctæ Martæ, Vatican City.

"Our academy is in a sense dedicated to the defence of the first group and made up of people who belong to the second. The first includes the unborn, the sick, the handicapped, the elderly and the dying – those most defenceless against the hardships of life and indifference of men. And Lourdes tells by its miracles and perhaps most powerfully by the testimony of the sick and their servants, the dignity of the human person, however reduced. Lourdes says ostensively what our academicians say by their research and teaching. So many remain threatened by the hardships of life and the indifference of men and we must be a voice for them in our Church and to our world.

Behind these threats to life are, in the Pope's words, "those assailed by sorrows and moral trials": those with unwanted pregnancy, with handicaps, with chronic or terminal sickness... all occasions of profound suffering and moral trials, suffering with which the Church, as Christ's bruised members, sympathizes, has compassion. But ours must never be that false compassion identified by Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitæ that responds to anxiety and suffering by killing those who are anxious or those who cause their suffering. Ours must be a compassion that stands by, invests ourselves in care and prayer, defends the weak and palliates the pained, but never dreams of ‘terminating' anyone. Ours must be a compassion that recognises moral complexity, shares in people's moral trials and brings the light of reason in natural law and the light of faith in Christian revelation to these bioethical conundrums."

Source: http://www.sydney.catholic.org.au/people/bishop_anthony_fisher/

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