"Why Are You So Grouchy?"
"Why are you so grouchy?" was the question that came from my 15 year old daughter Joanie. The question that snapped me back to reality. I stared at her for a moment and then said "Your right, I am grouchy."
I hadn't realized I was grouchy. It had snuck up on me again.
Earlier in the day an incident happened that reopened an emotional and spiritual wound that set me into brooding about the hurt and injustice of it all. Even though this offence took place many years ago. I had fallen (once again...sigh) into the imaginary conversation in my head where by with reasonable arguments and perfect rhetoric (You should hear me in my head!) I make the opposing person "see the light" of their misdeeds and profusely apologize for the pain and hardship that they inflicted on me. While my mind wallowed in this self-pity, I went through my day and "grouchy" slowly took over, sapping my joy. Soon I was snapping at my children for the least little infraction. Joanie's question brought me humbly back to reality. I realized that, as it says in the famous Serenity Prayer, I needed God to...
Grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
These are the times that I am really grateful for Jesus' gift of His Mother to us. I go to her in prayer with my silent suffering. Like a small child, I ask her to carry it for me. Mary then leads me gently to her Son. I then offer prayers for the one who offended me and their family and soon my heart is lighter and I regain my peace and joy.
Suffering is a part of life. Our choice is in how we suffer. As christians we need to learn to suffer well. Suffer joyfully. Pope Francis, during one of his recent homilies, told us:
"Christians are joyful, they are never gloomy. God is at our side. We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children, for us!"
So don't let "grouchy" crowd out the joy that God has for you! Even amidst the suffering!
Peace and JOY,