Pope Calls for Awareness of Human Limitations in Relation to God

Says the Almighty Is Not Indifferent to Our Tears

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II urged people to recover an awareness of their limitations in order to be able to live their dependence on God joyfully.



"The Lord is not indifferent to the tears of the one who suffers, and he responds, consoles and saves, although not always in ways that coincide with our expectations," the Holy Father told the thousands of pilgrims gathered in Paul VI Hall today for the midweek general audience.

Continuing his more-than-yearlong series of meditations on the Psalms and canticles of the Old Testament, the Pope reflected on the drama lived by King Hezekiah of Judah, who was led by illness to the threshold of death.

When experiencing God´s healing power, the sovereign raised an emotional prayer of thanksgiving (cited in Isaiah 38), with which every Christian can well identify, either "in the darkness of anguish and suffering, or in the bright light of joy and salvation," the Holy Father said.

"The canticle of King Hezekiah invites us to reflect on our fragile condition as creatures," the Pope continued. "Human life is described with the nomadic symbol of the tent: We are always pilgrims and guests on earth."

"We must recover an awareness of our limitations, know that ´seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong; Most of them are sorrow and toil; they pass quickly, we are all but gone,´" the Holy Father said, quoting Psalm 89[90]:10.

He added, however, "in the day of sickness and suffering it is right to raise one´s lament to God." The Pope noted that King Hezekiah, despite experiencing God "as an adversary," did not cease to invoke him: "O Lord, I am in straits; be my surety!"

The Holy Father explained that the canticle of the king of Judah thus becomes an invitation "to hope, to pray and to have confidence, in the certainty that God will not abandon his creatures."

"We will remain always beyond death, sustained and protected by the eternal and infinite God," John Paul II stressed.

He said this experience becomes more intense following the resurrection of Jesus, who enables the Christian to pronounce St. Paul´s words: "Where, o death, is thy victory? Where, o death, is your sting?"