“Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant your heart’s request.” Psalm 37:4
When the days and nights of a painful mental episode linger, clearly our heart’s request is for healing. That desire isn’t like the superficial, “help my team to win, God.” It is often a desperate yearning from a wordless depth.
Eyes focused on God — in nature, in day and night, in work routines, in Eucharist, and in each other — helps us to struggle well.
Eyes focused on God — on His Cross — makes suffering purposeful in a world that believes it is not. Saint Elizabeth Seton called it “communion of the cross” and likened it to the Eucharist. In fact, she said joining our sufferings to Jesus’ as a communion made the communion of the Eucharist even more powerful.
Eyes focused on God — in our selves. Yes, you heard that right. You see we are not our illnesses. We are God’s children with illnesses. We are not our crosses. We are God’s children with crosses. We simply need to do as Jesus commanded–“what we are obliged to do” (Luke 17:10b). We are obliged to take care of our private tabernacle where God resides. That means re-arranging our lives to take proper rest, make time to pray, walk or exercise, cook a healthy meal, and do things that will strengthen us such as taking our medicine, spending time in adoration, socializing with friends, and playing with children, grandchildren, or pets.
Eyes focused on God and we will forget our pain even if just for moments at a time. Eventually those moments of self-forgetfulness will transform into an eternity of unity with God.
Picture my own.