Osoba niepełnosprawna, chora, cierpiąca: nauczanie Jana Pawła II

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Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL
A significant feature of John Paul H’s pontificate is its direction towards man and family that struggle against the problem of suffering, disease and disability. He constantly speaks about them and to them, reminding the world about their dignity, value and rights. He stresses the inborn value of a disabled person, i.e. the fact that lack of health or a handicap, independently of its kind or degree, is not able to infringe his essential personal structure, the human spirit that enlivens him. Even a most disabled person is not different from others as far as the personal plane is concerned. This is why he is entitled to enjoy the inborn and inviolable human rights, and because of his limitations he has special rights and the community has special obligations to him. In the supernatural aspect a disabled man is God's sign, His “image”, he has the stamp of His creative power in himself. It was God who called him into being. Hence each moment of a person who is even most deeply handicapped is worth living as every spark of life is supported and ennobled by God Himself. Each “particle of life” is designed to be resurrected. In the history of salva­tion a disabled person takes the first place, because he is closest to the Cross. United to Christ through suffering he becomes a co-redeemer of the world. His suffering was redeemed and he himself is a tool for redeeming the world. His role in redeeming the world is priceless (“the weight of gold”). Like every person, he was called into being “by the name”; he has his own and unique vocation in his life, including vocation to give and get love, to sainthood and to joy. He is also called to find the meaning of suffering, accepting it and treating it as a gift of love to others and to the Church (e.g. as a mission gesture). The parents of a disabled child face especially important tasks as in the light of faith they have to discover the meaning of the mystery of their suffering and to gain the conviction that God wants their child for Himself and that the child is also for them His gift. In the context of the epoch appraising life through the amount of pleasure, of things one owns, through abilities and prestige, the epoch that resorts to abortion and euthanasia in order to get rid of suffering, a disabled man is a special challenge. He gives testimony to accidental character of the human being, to the weakness of the human condition that is susceptible to disease, suffering and death. His presence reminds one of how fragile and elusive life is; of the fact that it is a value that has to be used competently, that has to be cared for and respected. It teaches others that suffering may be accepted without a loss of dignity and it directs one to higher values and to supernaturality. On the other hand, in people surrounding him he releases solidary and charitable love contributing to his sanctification, as by serving the suffering man they serve Jesus Himself. The Holy Father has based his whole pontificate on the valuable aid from the ones that are weak in the human sense but through their suffering they become like Christ and they are strong by virtue of His strength. This is why he keeps asking them for prayers and for sacrificing their sufferings and in various ways he expresses his gratitude to them for those spiritual gifts.
Jan Paweł II a osoba niepełnosprawna, wartość osoby z niepełnosprawnością, powołanie osoby z niepełnoprawnością, sens cierpienia, postawy społeczne wobec osób z niepełnosprawnością, doświadczenie rodziców osób z niepełnosprawnością, John Paul II and the disabled, the value of a person with disabilities, the vocation of a person with disabilities, the meaning of suffering, social attitudes toward people with disabilities, the experience of parents of people with disabilities
Rodzina: źródło życia i szkoła miłości, red. D. Kornas-Biela, Lublin 2000, s. 357-384