Lord make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is Hatred let me sow Love; where there is Injury, Pardon; where there is Doubt, Faith; where there is Despair, Hope; where there is Darkness, Light; where there is Sadness, Joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be Consoled, as to Console; not so much to be Understood as to Understand; to be Loved as to Love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. St. Francis
Inadvertently, or Spirit led, I missed sharing the devotion on the phrase “sadness to joy” in its rightful place. I say “Spirit led” because this becomes a most fitting conclusion to this whole prayer. True joy, coming from self-acceptance and genuine generosity to others, is the apex of successful living.
We all experience sadness. It hurts. It can stop us in our tracks. It can rob us of sleep, of appetite, of any desire for living. Its reality is within us and around us always. However, not allowing it to have control of us, turning what makes us sad into affirmations of life—within ourselves or in others--is the ultimate gift thwarting despair and discouragement. The Good Shepherd reminds us “I have come so that they (you) may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
A Chinese proverb says, “one joy scatters a hundred griefs.” How true! One joy giving word can make a person’s day. Hearing “you are loved,” can reduce multiple sharp edges in our attitude toward ourselves, and, when spoken to others, give true joy.
Instruments of peace sound out joy. Joy gives a lightness to the heaviest of loads. Joy embraces sadness and then patiently welcomes it to change. Joy outlasts sorrow. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. In the darkest of times remember, you are a child of God.
Prayer: Indeed Lord, where there is sadness let me share Your joy. Amen.