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Weakness and Suffering: The School of Life For Our Children

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On June 10th, the Pope’s Wednesday general audience continued his catecheses on the family, focusing on the theme of sickness and suffering. Man experiences his own fragility primarily in the family, first as a child and, then, as an elderly person. While family sickness presents obvious challenges, it can also be a source of quiet strength and deepening of faith. Pope Francis stresses that we must “educate children as little ones to solidarity in the time of sickness”:

Contrary to contemporary society which tends to recoil from sickness, the pope understands the “weakness and suffering of loved ones can be, for our children and our grandchildren, a school of life.” An “education that lacks sensitivity for human sickness hardens the heart.” 

Obviously, Catholics must learn not to shelter our children from suffering because it is an integral part of our faith. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi shed light on the pope’s teaching when he said there is “an unavoidable spiritual dimension to ill…

Front Row With Francis: How Families Deal With Illness

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On June 10th, the Pope’s Wednesday general audience continued his catecheses on the family, focusing on the theme of sickness and suffering. Man experiences his own fragility primarily in the family, first as a child and, then, as an elderly person.While family sickness presents obvious challenges, it can also be a source of quiet strength and deepening faith. Pope Francis stresses that we must ” educate children as little ones to solidarity in the time of sickness because, - See more at: http://www.catholiclane.com/front-row-with-francis-how-families-deal-with-illness/#sthash.p4SFT70X.dpuf

Sick Day

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I'm at work. The phone rings. The caller ID tells me it's school calling.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Mrs. Urbanski. This is the school nurse."

The upshot: my daughter Rose is sick, and won't I please come pick her up?

Absolutely. I finish up the task I was working on, say goodbye to my coworkers, and head out the door. It takes me longer than I expect to reach school; by the time I arrive, Rose is miserable.

See what happens next at Praying with Grace. . . .

Please pray for Julie

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Mrs Julie Lamb with grandchildren Erin and Patrick O'Brien
Yesterday I received an email from a good friend in London, Ontario, Laura O'Brien. Laura asked me to pray for her mother, Mrs Julie Lamb. Julie has lung cancer and has been 'given weeks to a couple months to live'.
I've known Laura since 1981 when I was studying in Toronto. She and her husband Danny - Laura had the good sense to marry an Irishman! - were members of a prayer group that used to meet in St Basil's in the heart of  this remarkably cosmopolitan city. (The 1980 census showed that 44 per cent of the population of Metro Toronto had been born outside of Canada).
I met Julie for the first time in 2010 during a visit to Canada. She is a delightfully alive person.
Laura wrote, 'She is getting great care, and all the family have pulled together to ensure she has all her needs met'.
Please remember Julie and her family in your prayers

'Can you pray for my sick dog?'

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The Holy Family with a Bird, Murillo, painted 1650.
I was in our parish church in Dublin this afternoon praying when I saw a young man of about 19 come in, kneel in the front pew for a couple of minutess, light a candle in front of the latar of the Blessed Virgin and then leave. I was thinking that it was a hopeful sign to see a young person do this. Indeed, yesterday at Sunday Mass, while the congregation at the Mass at 11am wasn't great, there were some young people present.
A few minutes latr thee young man came, approached me and told me his dog was sick. I wouldn't describe him as distressed but he was upset. I asked hiim how old his dog was and he said 'three'. He also gave me the dog's name, 'Sam'. I asked him if he had taken Sam to the vet. 'He's with him right now', he told me.
I mentioned two saints to the young man, whose name I asked but won't mention here, who had the gift of healing animals, St Francis and St Martin de Porres. (I…