Faith helps those who are ill transcend sickness, says Vatican health minister
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The president of the Pontifical Council for Health Ministry spoke about the significance of living by faith through experiences of suffering and disease this week. Faith, said Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, leads a person to adopt an attitude that transcends sickness and health.

Launching the Genoan Days of Christian Culture in Rome, Archbishop Zimowski delivered a talk on “Therapy, Ethics and Religion.” The event is running from May 26-29 under the theme "I, the Lord, am your healer. Disease versus religion between ancient and modern eras."

The archbishop began his talk by looking at how disease and suffering are phenomena that, if examined, raise questions that go beyond medicine to reach the essence of the human condition.

In the trauma of experiencing disease we perceive the fragility of human nature, he said, since it can cause fear, dependence and discouragement. A person's "confidence in life" can be put to the test, the Vatican's head of health noted, "but also his very faith in God and his or her love of the Father."

It's about understanding that life comes from God through the experience of weakness, he said, and about "an abandonment to confidence, a concrete hope in the consciousness that sufferings have a meaning, even if it is humanly incomprehensible, as in God is the source of life."

Archbishop Zimowski referred to John Paul II's words from his 1984 Apostolic Letter "Salvifici doloris," in which the late Pope explained that as man takes up his cross, unifying himself to Christ in his suffering, a "salvific meaning" is revealed to him. In this way, he said, "the disease becomes for the believer that which he is and wishes to be before God and himself: he can transform it according to his own vision of existence."

While maintaining that faith doesn't deny scientific progress or substitute for medicine, Archbishop Zimowski said that it helps bring about an attitude in the sick person "that transcends sickness and health to live the words of the Apostle Paul, 'Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church.'"

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30