The World Day of the Sick focuses our attention on suffering people. Despite great progress of medicine, there are still diseases that we cannot cure. A sudden illness of a family member or other close person changes not only the direction and priorities of his life, but also the lives of his relatives.
Sister Faustina, who was struggling with tuberculosis for almost all her religious life, left us precious remarks that can help us when we experience our weaknesses and accompany the sick. She wrote: It often happens when one is ill, as in the case of Job in the Old Testament, that as long as one can move about and work, everything is fine and dandy; but when God sends illness, somehow or other, there are fewer friends about. But yet, there are some. They still take interest in our suffering and all that, but if God sends a longer illness, even those faithful friends slowly begin to desert us. They visit us less frequently, and often their visits cause suffering. Instead of comforting us, they reproach us about certain things, which is an occasion of a good deal of suffering. And so the soul, like Job, is alone; but fortunately, it is not alone, because Jesus-Host is with it. After having tasted the above sufferings and spent a whole night in bitterness, the next morning, when the chaplain [Father Theodore] brought me Holy Communion, I had to control myself by sheer effort of will to keep from crying out at the top of my voice, „Welcome, my true and only Friend.” Holy Communion gives me strength to suffer and fight. I wish to speak of one more thing that I have experienced: when God gives neither death nor health, and [when] this lasts for many years, people become accustomed to this and consider the person as not being ill. Then there begins a whole series of silent sufferings. Only God knows how many sacrifices the soul makes (Diary 1509). When one is ill and weak, one must constantly make efforts to measure up to what others are doing as a matter of course. But even those matter-of-course things cannot always be managed. Nevertheless, thank You, Jesus, for everything, because it is not the greatness of the works, but the greatness of the effort that will be rewarded (Diary 1310).
At this point, we would like to thank all volunteers and members of the “Faustinum” Association who are involved in helping ill people in nursing homes and hospices.