What are the virtues that encourage us in afflictions?

Although we experience some joys, even transient ones, sadness is an integral part of our life. What can we do so as not to lose peace of soul?

News Desk (02/07/2021 10:20, Gaudium Press) A certain man wakes up in a good mood, and receives encouraging news: the cure of a dear relative, the delivery of his new car and, arriving at work, the announcement of a pay rise.

A few days later, however, the picture changes: he gets up with a migraine after a night of insomnia, the day before he crashed his new vehicle with total loss without insurance, the “raise” was just a bad joke from some colleagues, and he, in fact, had just been fired?

So, if we follow the daily life of each person, we will observe that, according to the rhythm of favourable or unfavourable circumstances, they go through successive states of joy and sadness.

This is the rule of life for every man and woman in this vale of tears: from the moment Adam was condemned by God, as a consequence of original sin, to eat bread by the sweat of his brow (cf. Gen 3:19), “man’s life on earth is a struggle” (Job 7:1)!

Naturally, there are greater and deeper sorrows, while others are lesser and superficial. Although we experience some joys, even fleeting ones, sadness is an integral part of our lives, and to reject this truth is to deny the reality of the world in which we live, where we are all subject to alternating joys and sorrows.

Celestial happiness

In heaven, however, there is no sorrow: the possession of God, the absolute source of every possible happiness, permits only full, intense and definitive joy… Having reached the goal of all goals (cf. II Tim 4:7), after a life of semi-lights and semi-shadows, how can one be sad?

For this reason, it is also a characteristic of the Holy Angels to be always filled with a sincere, profound and communicative joy. A sad Angel? There is no such thing!

Unfortunately, it is often to “angels” of another kind that man turns in search of earthly pleasures; and to make pacts with the devil is quite common when it is a matter of satisfying one’s thirst for money, power or sensuality…

Now, “murderer from the beginning” and “father of lies” (Jn 8:44), Satan is not only the sworn enemy of God and of the good, but also the paradigm of total unhappiness (cf. Mt 25:41; 8:12).

How can one who cannot be even minimally happy himself bring happiness to others? For this reason, those who turn to him become entangled, in exchange for some passing advantage, in a spiral of failures and afflictions which often last until the end of life.

On this earth, therefore, the path to true happiness lies in living for God. Indeed, faith in Him and hope in eternal life are the virtues which encourage us to face the hardships inherent in the condition of travellers.

This is why joy, which shares in the heavenly happiness experienced on this earth through faith, is a characteristic trait of the saints, for St. Paul exclaimed: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I repeat: rejoice!

Text extracted, with adaptations, from the magazine Heralds of the Gospel n. 146, July 2015.


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