Vatican, 20 April, 2023 / 8:01 pm (ACI Africa).
While the world today can view sickness and suffering as meaningless, Pope Francis wants everyone to remember that Christ has the power to transform suffering into love.
Suffering places a person at a crossroads, the pope said Thursday during an audience with the Pontifical Biblical Institute. “He can allow suffering to lead him to withdrawal into self-doubt, to the point of despair and rebellion; or he can welcome it as an opportunity for growth and discernment about what really matters in life, to the point of encounter with God.”
“The latter is the vision of faith that we find in sacred Scripture,” he added.
The Pontifical Biblical Institute has been studying “illness and suffering in the Bible,” a topic Pope Francis said is particularly close to his heart.
He commented on how the Old Testament is filled with examples of people trusting in God in moments of tears (Ps 38), calling out to him for the healing of infirmity (Ps 6:3; Is 38), and returning to him in moments of trial with movements toward conversion (Ps 38:5, 12; 39:9; Is 53:11).