Recently, a dear priest friend texted me and said, “This has been so helpful to me. I never realized that Jesus wanted even the parts of my life that are not terribly desirable”. Along with it he also sent the following excerpt from St. Faustina’s diary:
1318 Jesus said to me, My daughter, you have not offered Me that which is really yours. I probed deeply into myself and found that I love God with all the faculties of my soul and, unable to see what it was that I had not yet given to the Lord, I asked, ‘Jesus, tell me what it is, and I will give it to You at once with a generous heart.’ Jesus said to me with kindness, Daughter, give Me your misery, because it is your exclusive property. At that moment, a ray of light illumined my soul, and I saw the whole abyss of my misery. In that same moment I nestled close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with so much trust that even if I had the sins of all the damned weighing on my conscience, I would not have doubted God’s mercy but, with a heart crushed to dust, I would have thrown myself into the abyss of Your mercy.”
Honestly, as I read this passage, I just said to myself, “What! Why have I never thought of doing this before!” Even after years of seminary and priesthood, the concept of giving my miseries to Jesus was just so foreign to me. Misery, or unhappiness just seems like such a worthless thing to offer up to the good Lord. I can understand how our sufferings, when offered to him, are united to his cross, but misery just seemed like something that was a result of my own poor choices in life. How could such a thing be desired by Jesus?
Well, I think it is desired because Jesus wants ALL of us and not just the refined us. Diving even deeper into this spiritual truth, it is also an invitation to invite Christ into disappointments, disillusionments, shame and even depression. Those areas that are
far from refined and far from places where we would want to dwell ourselves, and if we are honest, they are often places
where— if people open them up to us, we want to get away from them ASAP. But this is where Jesus is the remedy to mankind’s misery. Not because he prevents it from happening, but rather because he stands with us in it and brings forth fruit where we only see despair.
As I have played with this spiritual truth over the last several weeks, I have felt a new joy and peace flood into my soul. Not because something was magically resolved from this prayer intention and technique, but rather an alleviation of the isolation that comes with such hardships.