Send us the names of your loved ones who are sick or suffering. The Aleteia prayer network of 550 monasteries will take them to prayer for the World Day of the Sick.
From the pope’s homily today:
What should you do when you or a friend or loved one are experiencing spiritual darkness due to a family tragedy, illness, or something that is weighing you down? Today, Pope Francis said that prayer is the way to overcome our darkest moments, rather than resorting to pills or drink to escape the reality of our troubles. His comments came during his homily at Holy Mass this morning in the chapel of his residence at Santa Marta. Commenting on today’s first reading from the Old Testament, in which Job pours out his sorrows to God after losing everything, even his children, Pope Francis focused on the spiritual desolation that we all experience and explained how we can overcome them. The pope pointed out that, although Job had lost everything, he did not curse God but rather poured out his troubles to him as “a son to his father.” “Spiritual desolation is something that happens to all of us: it can be stronger or weaker … but that feeling of spiritual darkness, of hopelessness, mistrust, lacking the desire to live, without seeing the end of the tunnel, with so much agitation in one’s heart and in one’s ideas… Spiritual desolation makes us feel as though our souls are crushed, we can’t succeed, we can’t succeed and we also don’t want to live: ‘Death is better!’ This was Job’s outburst. It was better to die than live like this. We need to understand that when our soul is in this state of generalized sadness we can barely breathe: This happens to all of us… whether strong or not … to all of us. (We need to) understand what goes on in our hearts.” Pope Francis went on to pose the question: “What should we do when we experience these dark moments, be it a family tragedy, an illness, something that weighs us down?” Noting that some people would think of a sleeping pill to help them escape their problem, or drinking one, two, three or four glasses,” he warned that these methods “do not help.” Instead, today’s liturgy shows us how to cope with this spiritual desolation, “when we are lukewarm, depressed and without hope.”