The world and the sick – the sick and the world
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The World Day of the Sick passed but the problem of illness, suffering, medical treatment and care has not disappeared. This is a special matter because it touches hopeless people, overwhelmed by suffering and often without proper material means. That’s why just after his election to the Holy See John Paul II went to the clinic to see his paralysed friend Cardinal Andrzej Deskur. Doing that he showed one of the most important ways of the ministry of the Church – the sick. And indeed throughout his long pontificate he did his best so that we noticed the sick and he himself often met them, explained things to them, comforted them and made them come to him. As usual, when we feel well and healthy we are happy and we move suffering, weakness, ineptitude and old age aside. However, the condition of disease, feeling badly, connected with infirmity is very common. When we sometimes must go to doctor, hospital, clinic we can see a different world, directed by slightly different logic, living its own specific life. Since if educated people, those having high posts, suddenly learn that they are seriously ill, that they will die soon, a different reality begins for them. People must re-evaluate their priorities and look at the world from a different perspective. And it occurs that their posts are of little importance; their material goods they have gathered are not important at all; their friendships are verified...
We must be aware that nobody is as strong as to keep his/her health in good condition forever. After all, an ideal health does not exist since there is some element of illness in everyone; something that can cause pain and suffering at some moment... That’s why we should care for proper medical service provide for the sick, that they do not feel rejected, forsaken and lonely, poor. Each of us is obliged to show our respect for other people and show even greater respect when suffering inflicts people. Those who serve the sick should especially remember that. On the other hand, they should have the chance to fulfil their duties as best as they can. Therefore, they should be provided with worthy living and working conditions. Certainly, they will provide better care for the sick then. What is also needed is all kinds of help for the sick staying home where they usually feel best. When we decide about the legislation for people we should know that the law should also take into account the condition of disease since the sick constitute a huge group in our society and after all the law, living and working conditions should embrace all people. One should trust the medical services, the doctors’ knowledge, professional attitudes of the medical personnel and at the same time one should care for the morality of these carers that should be very high so that those who have experienced suffering do not fear doctors or nurses. On 11 February, the occasion of the World Day of the Sick, there were prayers in Lourdes. Every diocese in the Church worldwide organised meetings of the sick in various shrines so that they could receive God’s blessing and comfort in their sufferings. Since apart from the condition of illness there is the so-called rescue condition – hope to recover and possibility to serve others when you are well.
Let us pray for the world of the sick so that they have proper conditions to dedicate their sufferings to Lord God and thanks to external help, i.e. of medical services or their beloved ones, they could regain hope. In every illness man needs hope and we all should care for it very much.