SADNESS: ITS CAUSE, GRAVE CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDY
In our previous post, Cast aside sadness. Pray, forget yourself, and be happy, we cautioned that sadness has grave consequences not only in us but also in our dealings with others, and above all with God. What are the nefarious consequences of sadness?
First, we must remind that “For a Christian, joy is a treasure. ONLY BY OFFENDING GOD DO WE LOSE IT, BECAUSE SIN IS THE FRUIT OF SELFISHNESS, AND SELFISHNESS IS THE ROOT OF SADNESS.(St. Josemaria, “Christ is Passing By”, n. 178).”
Cause of sadness
In the spiritual life, sadness arises from our separation from God and from others. As St. Josemaria wrote:
“You are unhappy? Think: there must be an obstacle between God and me. You will seldom be wrong. (St. Josemaria, “The Way”, n. 662).” “You are not happy because you make everything revolve around yourself as if you were always the centre: you have a stomach-ache, or you are tired, or they have said this or that …HAVE YOU EVER TRIED THINKING ABOUT HIM, AND THROUGH HIM, ABOUT OTHERS? (St. Josemaria, Furrow, n. 74).”
Selfishness, egotism, living for one’s self, ultimately result to sadness, in spite of all the worldly pleasures which a materialistic, individualistic and hedonistic lifestyle could provide.
- The reason is simple: THE MATERIAL CAN NEVER BE ABLE TO SATISFY THE SPIRITUAL LONGINGS OUR HEART WAS MADE FOR. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS, WHAT WE NEED IS NOT AN EASY, COMFORTABLE LIFE, BUT RATHER, A HEART WHICH IS IN LOVE (cf. St. Josemaría, Furrow, n.795).
Consequences of sadness
Moreover, SADNESS HAS NEFARIOUS CONSEQUENCES:
- it leads one to seek worldy compensations to fill in the void he has in his soul;
- his dealings with others are characterized by anger and pessimism;
- it gives way to impurity, envy, egotism, indifference, division and so on…
Remedy to sadness
Hence, WE HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST SADNESS as well. How? Let us seek God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Joy, the Sacrament of Confession so as to be able to receive the fountain of Joy in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
DON’T FORGET THAT AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS HERE ON EARTH IS THE RESULT OF THREE INSEPARABLE ELEMENTS:
- UNION WITH GOD;
- INTERIOR STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME ONE’S SELF FOR LOVE OF GOD AND OTHERS;
- AND, LIVING A LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS.
Behold, “I knock at your door, listen to me, open up to me (Rev 3:20).” Let us not be deaf to Our Lord who invites us to attain real happiness. Only can we hear his invitation if we silence the mundane noise in us brought about by our worldly lifestyle. Only when we clean our heart inside out, purifying it from sin and removing what is not essential, can the Lord have a place in our heart.
Dear friends: Let us end with a prayer making use of the words of Benedict XVI: “LORD MAKE US BE SENSITIVE TO YOUR PRESENCE, HELP US TO FEEL NOT TO BE DEAF TO YOU, HELP US TO HAVE A FREE HEART AND BE OPEN TO YOU (Benedict XVI, First General Congregation of the Synod Of Bishops, Oct. 3, 2005).”