Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Held in Prayer

It is so important that we do not become engulfed in our own suffering, and neglect others in their hard times. If we get carried away, our little hangnails and stubbed toes can prevent us from seeing others' illness, misfortune, heartbreak, and so on.

I am becoming more and more aware how many people are suffering. People have been telling me about their errant children, their job loss, their severe illness, their heartbreak, and more. Yesterday, in his homily, Fr. Ervin told about a girl he visited in the hospital. At thirteen years old, with a body wracked by hardship, she pointed out to him a small child in the bed next to hers. The little child often slept fitfully, she explained, and moaned frequently during the long nights. The thirteen year old that Fr. Ervin visited then told him, "Father, I prayed to God that he would give me that little girl's pain so that she doesn't have to endure it and can have a good night sleep." It is amazing, how much love God will put into our hearts once we become willing to endure suffering. This willingness gives us the ability to serve others even at great sacrifice. It also gives us the ability to perform penance for our sins and for the love of God.

At the very least, we can in prayer hold up these suffering souls, pester our Lord and our Lady with their names, and ask God to give us some share of their burden, if we dare take it up. Our Lord and our Lady are eager to help, and will help us to help if we ask.

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