Looking with the merciful eyes of God

by | Nov 12, 2021 | (Helpful) Stories, Advice, Bible Verses, Readers' special requests, Reflection, Testimonies | 13 comments

For a time I have been thinking Catholicism is always about something sad.  It is something a person with anxiety and depression invites himself or herself into.  When I am sad, I look for Catholic retreats, Catholic songs, quotes of saints, sad stories, and I just get drearier and drearier.  I pondered on this for a while.

I did not want to be depressed.  I even thought to say to others, “If you have a sad story, I do not want to hear it.”  I even thought I could just stick to happy thoughts, ignoring people who are depressed and just stick to this attitude, then I would be happy.  Why would anyone want to pay attention to depressed people?  Their problems are not mine.  Catholicism is buying into sadness and getting people to donate money to the poor and the building of churches.

Then. . . I found out despite my attack on Catholicism today, God still shows me His grace and mercy.  A little voice said, “You cannot live happily on your own.  Look upon my Word.”  It says, I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5.   Then he revealed to me his grace.

These thoughts began.  Catholicism is always about something sad but He shows His mercy on me who am suffering.  Through His mercy, He has anointed certain people to help through Catholic retreats, Catholic songs, quotes of saints, sad stories, to lift up my spirit that I am not alone.  (There is nothing worse than being alone.)  And, there are better days.  I pondered on this for a while.

My priest taught that sometimes it is good to take a look at your perception a second time.  On the second time, with the merciful eyes of God, He will let you see your perception in a new light.  My husband (I like to call him, my St. Joseph) practices this with me – to see with the merciful eyes of God.  When I was very sick one time, I said to my husband, with much disappointment and self pity in myself, “I want to help others but I cannot help others with my mental health.”  My husband hollered and took me by surprise, “You are correct!”  He repeated my words, “You cannot help others with your mental health!”  At that moment, I realized that if I wanted to help others then I would have to be mentally healthy.  Also, I realized that my dream of helping others would be realized even in my self pity.  Does this make sense to you?  Perhaps I can put it in other words. In my self pity by the merciful eyes of God I am still not giving up to seek to help others.  I wallowed in my self pity but through the eyes of my loving St Joseph, he made me see the light in my words.  That is how God’s mercy is.  Praise be Jesus Christ!

In all this, God is the vine, and I am the branches.  I cannot live happily on my own.  This, for me, is described well by my Brother in Christ, Brother Emmanuel,

Though this may be hard to hear at first, we should ponder it regularly.  And if we do ponder it and embrace this truth, two things will happen in our souls.  First, we will grow in humility.  Humility is the most important virtue in which we can grow.  It’s been referred to as “the mother of all virtues.”  This is because from this virtue, all other virtues flow.  Humility means we realize that God is everything and that we need Him with a 100% need.  This humble truth will enable us to seek God in all things and to invite Him deeply into every part of our lives.

A second thing that will happen in our souls when we realize that we can do nothing without God is that we will grow in gratitude.  As we see that God is everything AND we begin to see that He provides us with constant grace in our lives, our only appropriate response will be “Thank you!”  We will be grateful to God for everything because we will realize that everything that is good is a gift from Him.


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