Amid darkness of Lent, 'God is bigger than any difficulty'
My joy lies in being close to God, I have taken shelter in the Lord, continually to proclaim what you have done (Psalm 73:28).
The words of the psalmist echo deep in my spirit, never more so than when life is challenging for me or when I attempt to accompany others through the trials of life. The Gospel of St. John speaks to us of God's dream for each one of us: "I have come that you may have life in all its fullness" (John 10:10).
Inspired by this Gospel message, I believe that all people and creation are created for happiness. This state of being is rich of soul and possesses the spirit at a far more profound level than any transient sense of well-being associated with instant gratification or passing pleasure.
Occasionally, experiences that touch my life leave me feeling insecure, frightened, anxious. I may feel overwhelmed by bad news or shocked to the core of my being. These events may leave me feeling lonely or isolated, not sure which way to turn. In these moments, I try to discern what is really happening. Is this a significant event that demands my full, immediate attention or a less serious one that can await a response?
I may feel unable to pray, or any sense of God's presence may seem like a distant memory, leaving me hanging on for dear life to the smidgen of faith that I have. Fortunately, the gift of sound faith formation has helped me to deepen my appreciation that God is a God of infinite love and faithfulness. Time and time again, he has been my rock and my anchor, his fidelity carrying me through many turbulent waters. I throw out my rope to him so that he can rescue me (Deuteronomy 31:8-9). I pray for an ever-greater trust in his goodness.
As I accompany others through their dark night, I offer them words of comfort that have helped me so that they too may be comforted.
I am blessed with good friendships, people with whom I can share the innermost thoughts of my heart, knowing that what is shared is sacred. I turn to them for friendship, love, understanding and wisdom, knowing that I will be supported in an honest and truthful manner. They mirror to me the sort of person I want to be: a sure shelter for others, especially when life is rough. This response requires practical action to support others and to express my faith in God.
The beauty of nature restores my soul, and I invite others to look on the glory of God and to be renewed in spirit. As our Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary vision statement says: We are called to be "joyful co-creators sharing God's unconditional love in our wounded world."