Reflection 240: Sweetness or Bitterness in Life?


Which do you prefer for your life?  Daily sensory experiences of sweetness or bitterness?  In other words, do you desire to take delight in the many aspects of your daily life or do you desire that the daily duty you fulfill leaves you with a certain bitterness within your senses?  For most people the answer is simple.  “Sweetness” is much better.  But is it?  Interestingly, the experience of sweetness or bitterness in life is not a good guide toward a life of holiness.  At times, even sin can taste “sweet” to us while acts of holiness can be “bitter” at first. Understanding this will allow us to move deeper into our embrace of the Will of God.  Our goal must be to seek His Will purely for the sake of His Will.  We must have no preference regarding the delight or suffering that comes as a result of embracing His Will.  If God’s Will requires great sacrifice, leaving us with a sensory experience of suffering, then so be it.  If His Will draws us to an exchange of love that leaves us with a sweet delight, then so be it.  Though it is hard to arrive at a level of total detachment, we must strive for it.  His Will and His Will alone must be our focus.  In His Will alone do we discover His abundance of Mercy (See Diary #1245).

Reflect upon the difference between God’s Will and the delight or distaste you feel from embracing it.  When His Will calls you to sacrifice, you will find it to be a sort of “bitter” experience.  Bitter in the sense that it may challenge your senses.  Do not worry about this.  Seek His Will in all things and the joy in your heart will ultimately overshadow all other immediate experiences you have.  His Will opens the door to His abundant Mercy.

Lord, I seek Your most holy Will about all things.  Help me to choose Your Will no matter how difficult or how delightful it may be.  Purify me, dear Lord, and give me a single focus in life so that my embrace of all You call me to do will bring forth Your perfect Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above: The Death of St. Peter Martyr by Girolamo Savoldo, via Wikimedia Commons