The best way to show my gratitude in my Prolonged Suffering
Dr O’ Riordan is a breast surgeon who has seen hundreds of cancer patients. She finds it very hard to cope when she was diagnosed with cancer herself. She was young, fit and healthy---A triathlete and a cyclist. She was scared. She couldn’t accept the diagnosis and she was in denial. Cancer to her is still a terminal disease.
She shares her experience as a patient which is very different than being a doctor. The perspective is entirely new to her. She has to uplift herself and tells how she has to collect little moments of joy in a jar, to boost herself up, whenever she was down. She also has got together a few doctors who are suffering from cancer to support each other in their journey as patients. Just receiving a short note, uplifts her spirit.
Throughout this prolonged trial, I have been thanking my Lord, Jesus Christ, the doctors, nurses, family, relatives and friends.
It is easy to say thank you, but in what explicit way can I show my gratitude?
I agree that the best way to show my gratitude is to quickly accept my trying circumstances with joy!!!. And to move on.
But how can I be joyful in my prolonged suffering?
It is easy to give in to discouragement in the face of suffering. What if I deliberately make it a point to bring some joy where there is sadness in my life? For joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is also the pathway to God.
As a Christian, I believe in Christ. So what about focusing on Christ, who has come to shower me with love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and who dies for me with the joy of the Risen Christ? I also need to concentrate on His support and faithfulness to slowly come to trust Him to be in-charge of my life. Trusting Him will definitely bring me comfort and joy!
Since, I know that as a human being I have the freedom to choose joy instead of any other emotional state. I have this free will to make the decision and it is for me to affirm the choice.
Thus, I must be constantly aware that life is made up of moment by moment. At any given moment, life gives me the opportunity to choose what life offers me. It is for me to choose the little moments that give me joy---be it children’s laughter, a beautiful flower, a sweet melody, a whiff of baked biscuit, a pleasant sensation, a small surprise, a new ideas, etc--- and it is for me to stop, watch and enjoy these fleeting moments. I decide whether to collect and record them for that day to remind me what life is all about.
See how Henri Nouwen explained this joy:
Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many, joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.
What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice. (Bread for the journey, Jan 30)
Many people hardly believe anymore in the possibility of a truly joy-filled life. They have more or less accepted life as a prison and are grateful for every occasion that creates the illusion of the opposite: a cruise, a suspense novel, a sexual experience, or a few hours in a heightened state of consciousness. This is happiness in the house of fear, a happiness which is “made in the world” and thus is neither lasting nor deeply satisfying.
The joy that Jesus offers His disciples is His own joy, which flows from His intimate communion with the One who sent Him. It is a joy that does not separate happy days from sad days, successful moments from moments of failure, experiences of honour from experiences of dishonour, passion from resurrection. This joy is a divine gift that does not leave us during times of illness, poverty, oppression or persecution. It is present even when the world laughs or tortures, robs or maims, fights or kills. It is truly ecstatic, always moving us away from the house of fear into the house of love, and always proclaiming that death no longer has the final say, though its noise remain loud and its devastation visible. The joy of Jesus lifts up life to be celebrated. (Lifesigns, pg 64)
In, Mother Teresa---Messenger of God’s Love, pg 52-53, it said:
Mother sings a hymn to joy:
“Joy is prayer
Joy is strength
Joy is love
Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
“The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy.”
“Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ.”
“We all long for Heaven where God is, but we have it in our power to be in Heaven with him right now to be happy with him at this very moment.
But being happy with him now means:
loving as he loves
helping as he helps;
giving as he gives
serving as he serves
rescuing as he rescues
being with him 24 hours a day
touching him in his distressing disguise in the poor and suffering.
A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. It is the gift of the Spirit, a share in the joy of Jesus, living in the soul.”
Written on 25 January 2019