“May God protect me from gloomy saints!” (Saint Teresa of Avila).
I was in Mass the other day and as I was praying during the consecration, I suddenly heard the words that the priest had uttered as though for the first time. And the priest said…
“The peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.”
And I have been reflecting on that peace. You see, there is great peace available to souls who chose to TRUST Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Years ago, after my little baby died before he was even born, I made a choice not to trust God in His goodness. I was hurt and afraid and angry and because I felt all of those terrible feelings of grief and I was unable to bear them, I refused – ACTIVELY and CONSCIOUSLY – to trust in God. And what was the result of that? How did it turn out for me?
It was a disaster! It was terrible! My life was sad and scary and fearful. My soul was afraid. And I was alone. I was surrounded by my entire family – who all love me dearly – and yet, I was completely and utterly alone. In fact, I can safely say that I have never felt more lonely or alone in my entire life than I did during that period when I was actively rejecting my God.
And then, when God came and found me right where I was – with my back turned firmly away from Him – I felt the message of his words in the Gospel deeply in the depths of my soul… “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3).
And it occurs to me that my Beloved did not say, “there will be no troubles”, He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled”. For “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). And I have been reflecting on that tribulation – those troubles – that have affected me in my life when my little baby went to Heaven before I was ready to let him go… Because those troubles made me gloomy, and I was gloomy until I found peace in God…
And that peace that I found – through Grace and no merit of my own – now causes me to laugh with joy. And I recall the words of Saint Teresa of Avila, “May God protect me from gloomy saints!”
For Pope Frances says, "A Christian without joy is either not a Christian, or they are sick. There is no other type! A healthy Christian is a joyful Christian!"
For my heaven can commence of earth – with JOY, great joy even in the midst of troubles. For how could I be gloomy and not at peace, if I trust in the peace of my Beloved?
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.