I admit that joy has been the last thing on my mind most of this week. My emotional state was definitely what we can call less than robust (because I don't want to outright say "fragile", except that's the word for it). There are many contributing factors (PMS not being the least of these).
Friday I even skipped the gym. I never do that unless I'm ill or injured, but it just wasn't right. I can't explain it other than that. Instead, I ended up in Mass. More than a good trade, I'd say. I was late walked in just in time for the psalm: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted...those who are crushed in spirit he saves...The Lord redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him."
Later I was reading the meditation for the day in the Magnificant. It was talking about the heart that is numb to God has gradually allowed itself to become hardened, and is mortally sick. I admit to feeling a fair amount of numbness in the last few months. "A numbed person deludes himself into believing that he cannot hear the inner voice that calls on him to shake off this numbness and rise out of himself... he is incapable of entering into the dialogue." I don't think that I've made it quite that far, but I definitely felt the call to enter more deeply into the dialogue with God.
There are a few more Scriptures through morning and evening prayer and Mass that are striking to me. "He is happy who is helped by Jacob's God, whose hope is in the Lord his God...it is the Lord that raises up those that are bowed down."
"He heals the broken-hearted, he binds up all their wounds."
"He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted."
"Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed."
"Behold, I make all things new."
"We had accepted within ourselves the sentence of death, that we might trust not in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. He rescued us from such great danger of death, and he will continue to rescue us; in him we have put our hope that he will also rescue us again."
Here's one that especially spoke to the whole idea of feeling barren in the desert:
"I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise."
"See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers."
"The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy."
This post may not be of much interest to anyone besides myself, but I wanted to put it out there anyway, to remind myself if nothing else. I have fallen so short in the midst of this, but by his death and resurrection there is mercy and grace waiting. The day to day is sometimes impossibly hard, but he is in the midst of that as well. There is joy in the words that He has been speaking through the Scripture in the last few days.