Today’s Gospel (John 16:20-23) provides us with some comfort as Jesus continues his conversation with the disciples.
Grief often becomes joy. I know that I miss my father very much since his death about a year and a half ago now, but in some ways, I feel closer to him in prayer now than I did while he was alive. Of course, I’d rather have him with me and be able to talk and interact with him, but in a different way now, new joys have emerged. (And I’m not sure I’d want him to be living through what’s going on now as he had a very compromised respiratory system).
Ignatian spirituality lends itself to that experience. Desolation comes to each of us at some point, but consolation is never far behind. In fact, it is always there, perhaps hidden, but God is always there if we but look for him. Experiencing the Examen takes us into that conversation of listening for God’s voice in the meanderings of our day: the good and the bad.
So today, while many are in grief, we need to trust that God will have our backs, even if the worst things actually happen. Trust in that and that God feels our desolations as well and hastens to lead us into consolation. Even when it seems as if the waters are at our necks (and they might be!) God is never absent from us, so grab on and ride the wave through to the finish and allow God to calm the storm.