News from ewtn.com:
VATICAN, SEPT 3 (CWNews.com). At his regular weekly public audience, held Wednesday at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II said that Christians should always have an optimistic attitude toward life, in spite of all difficulties.
In a meditation on Psalm 91, the Holy Father commented that the text is a reflection on the nature of good and evil. The psalmist believes that a faithful man, who can "penetrate the depth of the Lord's plans" will find "life shining with light and glory." An evil man, on the other hand, "cannot understand the hidden meaning of human suffering." Psalm 91, the Pope said, manifests the belief that "God will reward the just, even in this life, giving them a happy old age."
This attitude, the Pope continued, is particularly important today, at a time when Christians can find many reasons for disquiet around them. Steadfast faith, he said, "inspires joy, trust, and optimism -- gifts that we must ask of God, especially in our time, when there is so much temptation toward uncertainty and even despair."
i find the Pope's message quite remarkable because he's 83, suffering from Parkinson's disease and severe arthritis, among other ailments and by many accounts, quite sickly.
Was quite touched this morning by an essay a 14-year-old Tan Chun Hin wrote about his grandfather (according to a Straits Times report), "I was a little kid when I started getting pessimistic about life because I was always hearing adults saying that life is hard. This made me think that being a human was a punishment from God.
"But now, I think on the bright side -- all because of my Grandpa. My Grandpa adored me. He knew that I liked to eat fried noodles. If he came to our house, he would buy me a packet and share it with me. He was the one who was always by my side helping me when I had a problem."
And what wonderful words of wisdom his grandpa has left him before dying of cancer, "Life is like a little seedling; you need to overcome all kinds of obstacles and withstand hardship before life can bloom into a beautiful flower."
This reminds me of a poem that DTM Ng Seng Chuan shared with us during an Interpretive Reading session last Saturday afternoon, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jane Taylor.
He made four insightful observations on selected verses from the poem: Firstly, "the feeble efforts of lesser lights can be crucial for the survival of travellers in the dark." ("When he (the sun) nothing shines upon, Then you show your little light"). Secondly, "...by being in the right place at the right time, like insignificant little stars, we can all offer hope and direction to weary travellers on the road to life." Thirdly, "The star can always be counted upon... just being reliable would do." ("For you never shut your eye, till the sun is in the sky.")
And finally, "...the finest species of the human race are the unsung heroes who make life bearable for others." ("Tho' I know not what you are.")
(see Frail But Still Fighting in CandlesInTheDark)