Notable quotations from Pope Francis and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Death is an experience which touches all families, without exception. It is part of life; ...yet ... death never seems natural. For parents, surviving their own children is particularly heartbreaking... Death touches us and when it is a child's, it touches us profoundly. The whole family is left paralyzed, speechless.
... The child left alone by the loss of one or both parents suffers in a similar way.... The emptiness of abandonment that opens up in him is made all the more agonizing by the fact that he doesn't have the life experience to even "give a name" to what has happened.
In the People of God, by the grace of His compassion granted in Jesus, many families prove by their deeds that death does not have the last word: this is a true act of faith. Every time a family in mourning —even terrible mourning—finds the strength to guard the faith and love that unite us to those we love, it has already prevented death from taking everything.
The darkness of death should be confronted with a more intense work of love.
In ... faith, we can console one another, knowing that the Lord has conquered death once and for all. Our loved ones are not lost in the darkness of nothing: hope assures us that they are in the good and strong hands of God.
Love is stronger than death. Thus, the way is to let love grow, make it stronger, and love will guard us until the day that every tear shall be wiped away, when "death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more" (Rev 21:4).
If we allow ourselves to be sustained by this faith, the experience of grief can generate even stronger family bonds, a new openness to the pain of other families, a new brotherhood with families that are born and reborn in hope. To be born and reborn in hope, this gives us faith.
We can draw from the simple and strong testimony of the many families who have been able to grasp, in the most arduous transition of death, the safe passage of the Lord, Crucified and Risen, with His irrevocable promise of the resurrection of the dead. God's work of love is stronger than the work of death... It is of that love ... that we must make ourselves hard-working "accomplices", with our faith!
(Source: General Audience, 6/17/2015)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com