In the darkness and insecurity we are living through, we recall a 25 year-old in Aix en Provence whose life was insecure because he had no clear sense of direction.
I looked for happiness outside of God and for too long with resulting unhappiness.
As he struggled to find meaning in what was going on he understood the presence of God in a new way one Good Friday, looking at the Cross, and realized the only focus that could made enduring sense for the rest of his life. As he looked at the Cross he learnt to focus from darkness to light
Never was my soul more satisfied, never did it feel such happiness; for in the midst of this flood of tears, despite my grief, or rather because of my grief, my soul took wings towards its final end, towards God its only good whose loss it felt so keenly.
Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet consolation. Thus I had looked for happiness outside of God, and outside of God I found only disorder and anxiety.
Let me at least make up for lost time by redoubling my love for God. May all my actions, thoughts, etc., be directed towards that end. What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love God above all else, to love God all the more as one who has loved God too late.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Retreat Journal, December 1814, EO XV n.130
“Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet consolation” – an invitation to recall the “God-moments” in our lives and to allow them to help us to refocus on what counts.