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Just as a loving Father, on holiday with his family, helps his disabled child to leave the water after only a short dip, so God the Father looks on lovingly if a sick or disabled person has to 'leave' prayer, through exhaustion; unable to concentrate. He is neither surprised nor offended; He looks on with sympathetic eyes.
Christ asked me to paint a picture of what it is like to be welcomed and hugged by Him, in a spiritual Communion, when I am aware of my weakness but put my trust in Him. There is no-one more compassionate to sick people, no-one more grateful that we honour Him by our love and devotion.
The Lord Showed me one woman being released from Purgatory, and another requiring further purification. Both had been baptised, then had sinned. Each was saved at death through having been anointed in the Sacrament of the Sick. One spent a short time in Purgatory, because she had been badly taught, as a Protestant, about sin. The other, a cradle Catholic, was more blame-worthy, and should have known better.
A sick person who is asked to undergo certain therapies which in fact would poison or burn her badly does not have to accept every suggestion. Her duty is to preserve her life, but not necessarily by extraordinarily painful means. She must be aware that doctors cannot act without her consent.
A sick person should not feel obliged to accept very painful treatments which she is not convinced will cure her. But she is right to expect humane care, which every human being deserves, receiving food and nourishment, and also pain relief if available.
It is outrageous, that good people who want to heal the sick, and who apply for medical training, or for a post in obstetric care, will be looked upon as eccentric or uncooperative if they refuse, for moral reasons, to kill unborn babies by abortion.
In societies where abortion is allowed in grave circumstances, it then becomes common-place, then is claimed as a 'right'; and this leads to the gradual approval of further types of killing, such as withdrawal of sustenance from the sick, doctor-assisted suicide, or even calls for the infanticide of children handicapped or sick. It can even lead to pro-life supporters being called religious fanatics.
When people who have never read a serious book about Catholicism complain about episodes of Catholic history and hate the Church, it is best not to argue about history but to say: 'Look at the Church, as she is': the unique unity in Faith, government and worship, unique in handing on the body of truths, in helping the sick and needy, defending lives, including the unborn, inspiring artists, architects, composers, promoting education, all with confidence in God. Outside the Catholic Church people do not have such clear teaching. It is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ, Who still guides her, in union with the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Something is badly wrong, when in a so-called civilised society, women are welcomed into state-funded hospitals, to have their unborn babies destroyed, helped by doctors and nurses who were trained to heal the sick.
Would it not be strange today if the truth were known, about what happens in many of our hospitals? Picture a sign which declares: "This hospital was opened on Date X, for the care of the sick, and the killing of small unwanted babies."
People on a pilgrimage are a mixed group: sick and able-bodied, luke-warm or fervent souls, people of every ability and background; yet by being on pilgrimage with sincere hearts, as on a journey, all are brought closer to Heaven.
When we can no longer sit up to pray, in sickness or exhaustion, we can be sure that Christ is supporting us in His embrace, as we offer a few words of praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father.
Wherever Catholics live out their faith with goodness and conviction, they have an effect upon their culture, as Catholics have since the earliest times. The Bishops hand on the truth from Jesus Christ, people are forgiven and transformed, freed from superstition, men and women are equal in marriage, the sick are cherished and not rejected, prisoners receive justice, little girls are educated, children are valued, even the unborn, the arts flourish - art, architecture, music and scholarship - and the Saints set an unparalleled example of goodness, in all sorts of ways.
The Lord showed me a town, in which I had attended a funeral. He wants everyone in the town to ask: "Where am I going to spend Eternity?" Everyone needs to reflect upon that question, whether old or young, of one religion or another, sick or healthy, rich or poor, and whatever their background, race or occupation.
Christ is never indifferent to our pains and sufferings. No-matter how alone we feel, we should believe that He is close by at work to ease our sufferings and to bring us help in the midst of trails. It is as if He has His arms round each individual, holding each one close to His heart.
Every detail of our lives is of interest to God, Who loves us as a good father loves his children. Whatever good things we do, God is willing and able to help us with them, whether we build, make music, nurse the sick, or paint for His glory and to delight or help other people. He cannot help us to do evil - though He can bring good out of the evil we do.
God is good, and just; therefore everyone who dies receives a just judgement; and even people who commit suicide are judged by Him. He understands the pain and sorrow that cause some people almost to lose hope of finding joy; but it is wrong for anyone to reject the gift of life and to kill himself, or to ask other people to take his life because he is very sick or disabled.
No-one ought to suppose that a person who kills himself is wise. In every life, there is some suffering. The way in which we respond to it reveals our character. Whether sick or well, rich or poor, we have free will. We can respond with recognition of what is good in our lives, even in difficulties, or we can give in to self-pity and resentment. All people - including suicides - are judged by God, at death: by God Who is both merciful and just, but who gave life as a gift, not to be carelessly thrown away. Suicide is a sin.
Even sick, disabled and paralyzed people, like every conscious person above the age of reason, can exercise his or her free will, in order to choose to live with a loving and grateful heart and outlook, or to live in self-pity and even despair. Plainly, God lovingly makes allowances for the troubles people suffer, but each person can develop a soul radiant with Divine Light, or, refusing grace, have a soul which is shrivelled and lifeless.
It is true that our prayers are sometimes granted when we pray in Jesus' name for a sick person to be made well again; yet even more important than good health is Eternal Salvation. That should be the other aim of our intercessions - and one of the reasons for requesting the powerfully effective sacrament of the Sick, for ourselves or for sick people we know.
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