( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8, 9)

VIII Conclusion

§31. This is the meaning of suffering, which is truly supernatural and at the same time human. It is supernatural because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the Redemption of the world, and it is likewise deeply human because in it the person discovers himself, his own humanity, his own dignity, his own mission.

Suffering is certainly part of the mystery of man. Perhaps suffering is not wrapped up as much as man is by this mystery, which is an especially impenetrable one. The Second Vatican Council expressed this truth that “..only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. In fact…, Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear.”100 If these words refer to everything that concerns the mystery, of man, then they certainly refer in a very special way to human suffering. Precisely at this point the “revealing of man to himself and making his supreme vocation clear” is particularly indispensable. It also happens—as experience proves—that this can be particularly dramatic. But when it is completely accomplished and becomes the light of human life, it is particularly blessed. “Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful.”101

I now end the present considerations on suffering in the year in which the Church is living the extraordinary Jubilee linked to the anniversary of the Redemption.

The mastery of the Redemption of the world is in an amazing way rooted in suffering, and this suffering in turn finds in the mystery of the Redemption its supreme and surest point of reference.

We wish to live this Year of the Redemption in special union with all those who suffer. And so there should come together in spirit beneath the cross on Calvary all suffering people who believe in Christ, and particularly those who suffer because of their faith in Him who is the crucified and risen One, so that the offering of their sufferings may hasten the fulfillment of the prayer of the Savior Himself that all may be one.102 Let there also gather beneath the cross all people of good will, for on this cross is the “Redeemer of man,” the Man of Sorrows, who has taken upon Himself the physical and moral sufferings of the people of all times, so that in love they may find the salvific meaning of their sorrow and valid answers to all of their questions.

Together with Mary, Mother of Christ, who stood beneath the cross,103 we pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man.

We invoke all the saints, who down the centuries in a special way shared in the suffering of Christ. We ask them to support us.

And we ask all you who suffer to support us. We ask precisely you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil, revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your suffering in union with the cross of Christ be victorious!

To all of you, dearest brothers and sisters, I send my apostolic blessing.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11, 1984, in the sixth year of my Pontificate.

Joannes Paulus PP.II

Next page: End Notes» ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8, 9)