I’m not sure exactly when it is that each of us actually becomes an “adult” – not by age, but by maturity. I think one possibility is when you are deemed “old enough” by parents or other adults to be informed about various adult problems in your family’s circle of relatives and friends.
For all I know, the problems may have been talked about openly in front of me, but I was too young to understand what was happening. In fact, I had really thought – based on problems I had heard about on the news and through other sources – that my little circle of family and friends was as close to perfect as could be. That was probably the case for many of us when we were children, but when we see life through adult eyes, our small worlds don’t end up being as perfect as we might have thought. So perhaps some of us became adults because we weren’t so innocent anymore and could finally understand.
Since becoming an adult, I’ve realized that life can be so depressing sometimes! I have experienced some pretty depressing situations along the way – situations that I really didn’t think I had the strength to deal with on my own.
Actually, I know I didn’t have the strength.
Where did I find the strength to deal with these things? The Blessed Sacrament. And it was in front of the monstrance during a depressing time that I first cracked open an old Eucharistic Holy Hour booklet (which once belonged to my great aunt) and read this prayer, which brought me to tears:
INVOCATIONS TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Heart of Jesus, Who hast borne all our griefs, strengthen me.
Heart of Jesus, Who hast weighed this sorrow before sending it to us, help me.
Heart of Jesus, ever touched by the sight of sorrows, pity me.
Heart of Jesus, beautiful in Thy sorrows, teach me to become holy by means of this affliction.
Heart of Jesus, spending Thyself for souls in the midst of Thy sorrows, make me unselfish in bearing mine.
Heart of Jesus, troubled at the grave of Lazarus, comfort those who mourn.
Heart of Jesus, softened by the tears of Magdalen, pity the sorrowful.
Heart of Jesus, whose sorrow was ever before Thee, teach us to unite our griefs to Thine.
Heart of Jesus, agonized in Gethsemani, strengthen us in all the sorrows of life.
Heart of Jesus, whose unknown agonies we shall know and love in Heaven, teach us to suffer alone with God for His glory.
Heart of Jesus, broken with love and sorrow on the Cross, draw us to Thyself in our sorrows, and make us faithful in them to the end. Amen.
It was that second line that got me crying: “Heart of Jesus, Who hast weighed this sorrow before sending it to us, help me.”
Up until then I had struggled with finding where God was in the midst of this suffering. But through praying this prayer, I realized that Jesus is suffering, too, right along with me. He weighed this sorrow I’m experiencing, and so He knows exactly what I’m feeling because He felt it before me. He will help me through it. He is helping me through it, whether I recognize it or not. If He weighed it before sending it to me, then He knows that I can get through it with His help, like that famous quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” It may not be fun, but we can lift our grief up to the Lord and unite it to His cross. What a blessing we can receive through the pain!
“Heart of Jesus, beautiful in Thy sorrows, teach me to become holy by means of this affliction.”
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