Many people carry very heavy burdens within their souls. On the surface, they may radiate with joy and peace. But within their souls, they may also have great pain. These two experiences of our interior and exterior are not in contradiction when we follow Christ. Often times Jesus allows us to feel a certain interior suffering while, at the same time, He brings forth the good fruit of exterior peace and joy through that suffering (See Diary #378).
Is this your experience? Do you find that you can express yourself with great joy and peace in the presence of others even though your heart is filled with anguish and pain? If so, rest assured that joy and suffering are not mutually exclusive. Know that Jesus permits interior suffering at times so as to purify you and strengthen you. Continue to surrender that suffering and take joy in the opportunity you have to live a life of joy amidst such hardship.
Lord, I thank You for the interior crosses I carry. I know that You will give me the grace I need to continue down the path of acceptance and joy. May the joy of Your presence in my life always shine forth as I carry each and every cross I have been given. Jesus, I trust in You.
Scripture Meditations for Lent
Featured image above: Prayer in the Garden By Sebastiano Ricci, via Wikimedia Commons