“I would also like to tell you how immensely happy I am. Oh, how sweet it is to serve such a good Lord. But you should not think, dear Sister, that when I speak about the joy in my soul, this means that I no longer suffer. Oh no, but the more I suffer, the more I feel a longing for suffering; and, when we know that the suffering is sent by the One whom I love, then suffering ceases to be suffering, but becomes, rather, a delight and a happiness.”
– letter to Sister Justyna Golofit
Warsaw, 20th October 1929
We sometimes forget that, as Christians, we are called to be joyful in all things. Easy to say, perhaps, when all is going well – not so easy when life is less than kind to us.
In these paragraphs from a longer letter to Sister Justyna, Faustina helps us to get back on track.
Joy and suffering are not mutually exclusive; we can experience both at the same time. The secret is to give our sufferings meaning. We cannot do this alone, of course – but the Lord can do so. If you don’t believe this, then you need only look upon a Crucifix. There, you will see suffering given the deepest meaning of all, when meekly and patiently borne. Such suffering has the power to move all of Heaven, to draw down great graces from the Treasury of Grace. And this suffering of Christ is the most meritorious possible, for He is the spotless Lamb ‘Who takes away the sin of the world’.
To unite our sufferings to His is the source of this joy of which Faustina writes.
Many of us will have known someone, at some point in our lives, who has sufferend greatly and yet borne this not only with patience and fortitude, but with deep interior joy. Christ is the Cause of our joy. His Cross, intended as a symbol of hatred and ignominy, has become the Sign of our Redemption.
There is no greater reason for joy.