03/19/2009, 00.00
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Doctors must do all that is legitimate to alleviate pain, says Pope

During a visit to a medical facility in Yaoundé, Benedict XVI says we must be close to those who suffer, and place our trust in God who acts for “our good and not according to our desires”.
Yaoundé (AsiaNews) – Doctors “are called, in the first place, to protect human life” because they “are the defenders of life from conception to natural death.” May God “graciously grant the prayers of all who turn to him. He answers our call and our prayer, as and when he wishes, for our good and not according to our desires,” said the Pope during a visit among the sick of the Centre National de Réhabilitation des Handicapés Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger in Yaoundé.

“Faced with suffering, sickness and death, it is tempting to cry out in pain,” the Pope said addressing the centre’s staff and its patients, many of them children. Founded in 1972 by Cardinal Leger the facility specialises in the treatment and care of the disabled.

“Even Jesus cried out, shortly before his death. As our condition deteriorates, our anguish increases; some are tempted to doubt whether God is present in their lives. [. . .] His friends, like each of us when faced with the suffering of a loved one, tried to console him, but they used hollow and empty words.”

“In the presence of such torment, we feel powerless and we cannot find the right words. Before a brother or sister plunged into the mystery of the Cross, a respectful and compassionate silence, a prayerful presence, a gesture of tenderness and comfort, a kind look, a smile, often achieve more than many words.”

“Since the resurrection, and right up to our own time, there have been countless witnesses who have turned, with faith and hope, towards the Saviour of mankind, recognizing his presence at the heart of their suffering. May the Father of mercies graciously grant the prayers of all who turn to him. He answers our call and our prayer, as and when he wishes, for our good and not according to our desires. It is for us to discern his response and to accept the gifts that he offers us as a grace. Let us fix our gaze upon the Crucified one, with faith and courage, for from him come life, comfort, and healing. Let us learn to gaze on him who desires our good and knows how to wipe the tears from our eyes. Let us learn to abandon ourselves into his embrace, like a small child in his mother’s arms.”

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