Ivonne J. Hernandez shares the one phrase that helps her shift her focus and find interior peace amid trials and sufferings.
Sadness is looking at oneself; joy is looking at God. (Dom A. Guillerand)
I used to include this quote in my email signature, and I think it might be time to make it part of my signature again. Such a simple thing to remember … such an easy thing to forget.
A corollary to this thought would be:
"Look at what God is doing, not at what the devil is doing.” (My spiritual director to me … again and again … and yet again)
Time and time again, when my spirit is downcast, when the trials seem too much, when my strength fails me, it is a result of having taken my eyes off the Lord. I often find myself going down a thought rabbit hole. I want so badly to understand what is going on, and more, why is it going on?
The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)
“Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.” Think about that …
“He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
No matter what is going on in our hearts, our minds, or our lives, God always has the upper hand. He is ALWAYS in control.
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
And what is this purpose? To find out, we need to look at God.
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
When our hearts are downcast, we must remember: Grace is all around us. We are never alone.
Now, where is Jesus Christ, so that we can live with him and abide in him? In heaven for the elect, and in the most Blessed Sacrament for men who are traveling. (St. Peter Julian Eymard)
When situations seem hopeless, let us ask ourselves: Where is God in this? Whatever “this” is, His grace overflows and is enough. It is sufficient for us. All things work for good for us who love the Lord. And if we still can’t see Him, if the storm is so loud we can not hear His voice, let us run to the Tabernacle. As a lighthouse in a storm, the Blessed Sacrament will bring us safely to port.
This then is the Eucharistic center for the Christian: the Holy Eucharist—here is the abode of love for a Christian. It is his divine and human center, for Jesus is God and man, a living center, actual, personal, ever accessible to man. Can man on earth have a holier and more loveable center! The Holy Eucharist—isn’t this heaven on earth? It is here, says the conqueror of death and hell, that I have created a new heaven and a new earth. Here is the Tabernacle of God with men. God abides with them, he will be their God, and they will be his people, his family [cf. Ap 21,3]. It is no longer in heaven, then, that the loving soul should look for Jesus, it is not yet the time nor the place for that, but it is really in the most Blessed Sacrament. That is our unique treasure on earth, our unique pleasure. (St. Peter Julian Eymard)
Copyright 2023 Ivonne J. Hernandez
Images: (top, bottom) Canva; (center) iStockPhoto.com, licensed for use by Holy Cross Family Ministries
This article was first published in the Elisheba blog. It is published here with permission.
About the Author
Ivonne J. Hernandez is a Catholic wife, mother, writer, and speaker. She pursued a career in Computer Engineering before becoming a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to her three boys. She is a Lay Associate of the Blessed Sacrament, president of Elisheba House (non-profit Catholic media apostolate), and author of The Rosary: Eucharistic Meditations. For more information visit ElishebaHouse.com. Follow Ivonne on Facebook and Instagram.