Pray Truthfully –
“St. Therese of Lisieux – Jesus loves the joyous heart. He loves the ever smiling soul.”
As you can probably tell I am a bit of a fan of St. Therese, but I have a bit of a different view than she had related to this statement. In her writings, St. Therese was so focused on Jesus that she felt that bringing our troubles and sufferings to him would make Him sad and He would not find in us the peace he sought from us. I believe that when we are sad and suffering, Jesus suffers and is sad along with us. I had shared the “Footprints in the Sand” poem in a previous posting and the poem clearly says that during the person’s most difficult times in his life, God said “My child, I love you and will never leave you. When you see only one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I carried you.” St. Therese exhorted people to be joyous and happy and to tell Jesus that they were glad to be suffering for Him. This may be a great prayer approach for some people, but I don’t believe all of us are capable of doing this – myself included. If we are sincerely happy to be suffering for the sake of Jesus this is “praying the truth” and I encourage those that feel this way to continue to be honored and joyous that they are suffering for Jesus.
I believe there are people in this world that have that perspective and as Therese says “hide these feelings of sadness” from Jesus. Then again, Jesus knows everything about us and knows when we are suffering so there are people who may “put on a happy face” for Jesus in prayer, but I ask you to look into your hearts and ask yourself are you “praying the truth”? Jesus wants us to bring our troubles and concerns to Him in prayer. As we read in Isaiah 66:
– “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Do we find a joyous heart if we do not bring our troubles to Jesus? I do not believe that is the case for everyone. Many times it is the stronger in our society who suffer in silence because they must be strong for others. In many cases, we see people who are clearly suffering, but are reticent to bring these troubles to Jesus. We all know someone who is suffering in some way. This is an opportunity for us to bring the joy in our heart to those that need that same joy. I encourage everyone to seek out one person who we know is struggling and let them see the joy in your heart that is the result of your relationship with Jesus. Encourage people to “pray truthfully” and for those Catholics who follow this blog I encourage a frequent regimen of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation and share that feeling you experience as you profess your sins and your doubts and receive the loving grace of God from the sacrament. Jesus wants us to find peace in Him. Let’s do our part for ourselves and others to bring our trials and tribulations to the One who can give us true comfort.