God writes straight even on crooked lines.

If we confidently experience God’s mystery, we will discover that illness or failure may not be less of a gift from God than health and success. Suffering then finds meaning in the mystery of the crucified love of Jesus.

God writes straight even on crooked lines

In his message for the 32nd World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis writes that “the sick, the weak, the poor are at the heart of the Church and must also be at the center of our attention and our pastoral care”. Since 1992, every year on February 11, on the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Catholic Church celebrates the World Day of the Sick, which was established by Saint John Paul II, a great friend of the sick.


In the Letter to the Corinthians (1, 18-25) it is written: “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are going to destruction, but to those who are on the way to salvation, that is, to us, it is the power of God.” After all, it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and I will reject the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is he wise? Where is the code? And where is the sage of this age? Has not God turned the wisdom of this world into foolishness? When the world in God’s wisdom did not know God by its wisdom, it pleased God to save believers through the foolishness of preaching. For even the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we announce the crucified Christ, to the Jews scandal, to the Gentiles foolishness, but to the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ – God’s power and God’s wisdom. For what is foolish with God is wiser than men, and what is weak with God is stronger than men.”

Sooner or later, we all encounter pain, suffering, illness, and misunderstanding and we search for a meaningful explanation of what touches us so painfully. Suffering and illness often remain a mystery beyond our human understanding. At the same time, they invite us to live and love the mystery of God, which we cannot fully understand. We are asked to take the attitude of submitting in faith to God, who loves us and challenges us: Trust me, I will guide you, I will take care of you!

This is what the founders of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross teach us. Father Theodosius Florentini encourages: “Trust, God guides you!” And co-founder Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Schererová teaches: “Do not lose heart, but look to the one from whom all strength comes.”


God has a plan for us, and the law of his time and grace applies here. One way or another, we often spoil his plans, but God knows how to write straight even on our crooked lines.

Poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke speaks to us in such moments of searching for meaning: “I ask you from the bottom of my heart to be patient with all that is unresolved in your heart and… try to love the unresolved questions like locked rooms… Do not look for answers, which you cannot get because you would not be able to live them. You may not even notice it, but one day you will find that you are already living the answer.”

We cannot understand God’s thoughts or ways, but we can love questions and experience God’s mystery with confidence. Then we will discover that in our life even illness, suffering or failure may not be less of a gift from God than health and success. Finally, our suffering, sickness, and crosses can find meaningful fulfillment only in the mystery of the crucified love of Jesus Christ, who suffered, died, and rose from the dead.


Pope Francis emphasizes that “God, who is love, created man for community and inserted the dimension of relationships into his being. And the experience of abandonment and loneliness frightens us, it is painful and even inhuman”. That is why he invites us to serve the sick and suffering with love. 

Father Theodosius said: “The demand of the time is God’s will.” Today the time demands to be in the service of the suffering, the sick, the weak, and the poor. In the Gospel, the Lord Jesus calls everyone to this, because our life will only stand up to the criterion of love for those who are hungry, thirsty, sick… At the end of our lives, we will be judged by love.

“A sick and needy person is our neighbor. His suffering, whether small or great, is a challenge for the merciful sister of the Holy Cross,” the founders of the congregation teach. Therefore, in the spirit of charisma, the heart of which lies in the merciful love of God sacrificing itself in Jesus to death on the cross, the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross have been accompanying the sick and suffering on four continents of the world for almost 170 years.

They belong entirely to the Crucified One, and therefore quite neighborly, and as representatives of Christ’s love, they can be found in Slovakia in health services in various places. Also in the Bratislava University Hospital, where the Blessed Sister Zdenka Schelingová also worked in the time before totalitarianism.

“I know that Jesus burns with the desire to come into our hearts and that he values ​​our love more than all the gifts we could offer him. Without love, all, even the most valuable works are empty, nothing. Jesus does not even want excessive work, only faithful devotion and warm love. The smallest act of pure love benefits the Church more than all other actions. God judges everything according to love, he wants our love,” encourages Blessed Zdenka when she writes about how she discovered God’s will.


I very vividly remember a fellow sister who became seriously ill and two years ago we were able to closely accompany her through her illness and suffering. In the community, where a doctor and two nurses worked, we saw how, due to her deteriorating condition after an inoperable brain tumor, she increasingly lost the ability to express what she wanted and needed until she completely lost the ability to speak.

It was very painful for all of us, but also mysterious. We often experienced great helplessness and pain from the impossibility of understanding each other. At the same time, we saw how our sick fellow sister’s devotion and desire to be with the Lord grew.

One late evening, when she could no longer speak at all, almost in the last days of her life among us, she came to the chapel. After a moment of prayer, she got up, and when we were about to escort her to the room, she looked intently at the tabernacle and cried out very clearly from the depths of her soul and heart: “Jesus, I love you!”

We were all amazed at the mystery of the soul’s communication with God. At that time, we could not only be at the service of our sick fellow sister but also learn a lot from her.


Jesus said that we will always have the poor among us. There will always be sick, suffering, needy people who need our presence, attention, and love. Being in their service is sometimes difficult, but very necessary for them and us.

Let us strive to be at their service in the spirit of Jesus’ words: “Whatever you did for one of these least, you did for me” and in the spirit of the song that our sick sister sang to herself: “The Lord has promised to be with us, he will never leave us!”

Questions to think about

How do I accept the entrance of God’s surprising mysteries into my life? Do I realize that God is lovingly guiding my life? Do I trust him? Is my heart receptive and attentive to the needs of the suffering, the sick, the abandoned, and the poor? Am I learning to discover Christ’s suffering face in them?


Impress your face in me, Lord, so that the Father, seeing you in me, repeats: “You are my daughter whom I love.” And that whoever meets me, sees a glimpse of the Father. Impress your face on me, Lord, so that I can witness your light, your goodness, and the infinite tenderness you have for every creature. Impress your face on me, Lord, so that I can be a sign of your love for the small and the poor, for the sick and the excluded. Impress your face on me, Lord, so that I may be a living Veronica’s scarf that bears the signs of your death and resurrection. 

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2 Responses to God writes straight even on crooked lines.

  1. KemyJeame says:

    Possibly off-topic, but all-day scrolling the internet makes you weaker in terms of health and libido.
    How to bring it to my boyfriend – that is an issue for me..

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