Friday, December 30, 2005

Advice worth making into a New Year's resolution

I found some wonderful spiritual advice on a website on Christian Psychology.

When we are hurt emotionally, we tend to want to do something about it, usually by hiding it behind some self destructive behavior. We smoke, we drink, we eat, we hide our feelings behind mindless television or avoiding our daily duties in life. Or we harbor anger and resentment, and often, we don't even realize it because we don't want to admit it to ourselves.

The Christian solution? Give your pain to God, not by denying your feelings regarding it, but by embracing your brokenness and fully admitting to God the completeness of your feelings. They suggest praying this way:

“Lord, I am wounded. I hurt. I am helpless. I am broken. I am vulnerable. Nothing I can do by my own hand can protect me. Help me, for without your mercy and protection, I will perish. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. Help me to continue my work in your service despite the fact that I feel [betrayed, abandoned, unloved, insulted, falsely accused, etc.].”

The site quotes from the Diary of Saint Faustina:

It is not always within your power to control your feelings. You will recognize that you have love if, after having experienced annoyance and contradiction, you do not lose your peace, but pray for those who have made you suffer and wish them well.

The site also quotes from a letter by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque:

Are you making no progress in prayer? Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Savior has poured out for us in the sacrament of the altar. Offer God his fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness. In the course of every activity pray as follows: “My God, [I do this] or [I endure that] in the heart of your Son and according to his holy counsels. I offer it to you in reparation for anything blameworthy or imperfect in my actions.”

Continue to do this in every circumstance of life. And every time that some punishment, affliction, or injustice comes your way, say to yourself: “Accept this as sent to you by the Sacred Heart of Jesus in order to unite yourself to him.”

I'm beginning to realize that it is so important to keep honest with God and give Him all our feelings, whether they be feelings of joy or feelings of anger and resentment, that I really want to make this my New Year's resolution, of sorts.

The website suggests saying this to yourself:

“As things develop, I will, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, adapt to changing circumstances and grow in holiness."

I hang onto that promise!


Carmel said...

a very importand message 4HC
We cannot hide our feelings from God whether we like to try or not. It's best to let it go and grow spiritually.
Resentment is something that I have found to be a very hurtful emotion, when we find ourselves resenting a person it's very damaging. That's one thing I have learnt.
Thanks for the post, I managed to write this comment while having a sandwich and shewing my cat away who was trying to get it.

Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thanks 4HC. Where would our hearts be if we do not unite our hearts with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially when our hearts are broken? The saints always make it easier for us because they've already lived it.

Happy New Year!

4HisChurch said...

I really like the idea of giving all our feelings to God, whether they are "justifiable" or not. God understands our brokenness and will heal it. We don't have to hide from Him like Adam did.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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