I went to adoration a couple of weeks ago, and I was feeling and also praying at my wit's end about a few things. The Lord spoke so beautifully to me in prayer that night that I have been wanting to share it ever since. I hope that what He gave me encourages some of you as well.
First of all, though...poor Jesus! When I finally get a chance to go to adoration, I am pretty much always at my wit's end about something. I know it's not supposed to be that way with prayer. But until spiritual maturity kicks in...Lord have mercy.:)
Anyway, I had grabbed a Bible on the way in, and I finally sat back in my chair, picked up the Bible, and told Jesus, "I need you to talk to me today. I'm about to open this Bible and I want you to tell me what to do about all of this."
Of course I then had to go and add something like, "Because you know it's a miracle that I'm able to be out alone and at adoration by myself and so my precious time with You needs to count and blah blah blah..." I know. Yikes. Poor Jesus. But, again, until spiritual maturity kicks in...the Lord is so merciful. And I think he accepted my immediate apology after that little speech. Because I opened to this:
"Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good." -Romans 12:9
This simple passage spoke powerfully to the exact crosses and struggles that I had been praying about.
"Hate what is evil." Struggle itself is not evil. Sin is evil. It's easy to hate what is hard or painful for us, but we have to save our hate--our righteous anger--for sin, starting in ourselves. So often the crosses and struggles He permits us give us opportunities to identify and reject sin in ourselves. I needed to hear that again. Also, sinfulness in other people is what we should "hate"--not the people themselves. When I pray about my own struggles, I need to also pray more faithfully for the souls of any others involved, most especially when those people are struggling with sins of their own.
"Hold on to what is good." How encouraging and helpful this short little sentence is to me. I've got to hold tightly to my faith, first and foremost, and I can't allow myself to lose hope or to despair about things. Close behind, I must hold on tightly to thankfulness for the "good" of my many, many blessings. Remembering what is actually good about a person or a situation, and sometimes being honest about what is actually going well in my life, can put things into perspective for me so much.
The closing prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy has been especially helpful for me very often this past year, which has probably been the most difficult year of my life so far. It is worth committing to memory. In moments when I realize I need to surrender a cross or a struggle all over again, I always pray this prayer. At least for me, it just says everything I need it to in the moment, every time.
"Eternal Father, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion is inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we may not despair or become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to your holy will, which is love and mercy itself."
Probably every sweet soul who reads this post is going through a rough patch somewhere in his or (more likely:) her life. From one child of God to another, I encourage you to hold on tight with me to our faith. Pray that closing prayer to the Chaplet and let God center you again on the truth that he is solid, faithful, and is working everything in your life together for your good. With Divine Mercy Sunday coming up this weekend, let's pray for one another to open our hearts even more to the Divine Mercy and the plentiful graces He sends us to live a holy life.
Jesus, I trust in you!