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It is only human to lament suffering, Pope tells faithful

By on Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pope Francis celebrating Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae  (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis celebrating Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae (Photo: CNS)

Lamenting one’s suffering to God is not a sin, but a prayer of the heart that reaches the Lord, the Pope said at Mass this morning.

In his homily in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican, he said: “To lament before God is not a sin. A priest I know once said to a woman who lamented to God about her misfortune: ‘But, madam, that is a form of prayer. Go ahead [with it].’ The Lord hears, He listens to our complaints. Think of the greats, of Job, when in chapter III (he says): ‘Cursed be the day I came into the world,’ and Jeremiah, in the twentieth chapter: ‘Cursed be the day’ – they complain even cursing, not the Lord, but the situation, right? It is only human.”

Continuing his reflection on the story of Tobit and Sarah, that was reported in the first reading of the day, the Holy Father also talked about the many people who live difficult lives: malnourished children, refugees, the terminally ill.

He said: “When we think of the people who suffer so much, do we think of them as though they were an [abstract moral conundrum], pure ideas, ‘but in this case … this case …’, or do we think about them with our hearts, with our flesh, too? I do not like it when people speak about tough situations in an academic and not a human manner, sometimes with statistics … and that’s it. In the Church there are many people in this situation.”

The Pope added that in these cases, we must do what Jesus says, by praying for them: “They must come into my heart, they must be a [cause of] restlessness for me: my brother is suffering, my sister suffers. Here [is] the mystery of the communion of saints: pray to the Lord, ‘But, Lord, look at that person: he cries, he is suffering.’ Pray, let me say, with the flesh: that our flesh pray. Not with ideas. Praying with the heart.”