Friday, April 1, 2011

Words, Words, Words about the ABCs and a Prayer

I lifted this poster from a website called Pinterest. Be careful. If you go there, you may get sucked in and lose hours of your day to extreme coolness.

I just finished reading the book based on The Happiness Project blog this week and highly recommend it. The author, Gretchen Rubin, gives readers something to think about on every single page. My biggest take-away from the book is that happiness is hard work worth doing. Too many unhappy people wait around for life to make them happy; most happy people have figured out that it's the doing of happiness that makes one happy.

Toward the end of the book, Rubin shares a prayer attributed to St. Augustine that touched me deeply.

Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ;
rest your weary ones; bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones; pity your afflicted ones;
shield your joyous ones.
And all for your love's sake.

One of the problems with having a happy blog like mine is that not everyone who reads it is happy or is even in a place where happiness seems like a reasonable or attainable goal. Sometimes, when we're sick, weary, dying, suffering, or afflicted in some way, other people's happiness hurts us.

Wednesday, I spoke with a friend who is going through hell on earth right now, and sunshiny posters of happiness cliches are not helpful for her. She is afflicted with huge and completely overwhelming pain, major life changes on all levels, situations over which she has very little or no control. She asked me for advice, and I had nothing for her except to remind her to take care of herself in body, mind, and soul.

My friend already believes in God, knows that He loves her through all that is going on in her life, and has a wonderful support group of family and friends around her. She is already seeking professional help for the depression she feels coming over her and medical care for her physical problems. She is, in short, already doing everything she can to get through this. I'm proud of her. She will get through.

But that doesn't make her life any easier right now. Augustine's prayer is for her; for the people afflicted by the tsunami, the flooding in Australia, and other natural disasters; for the people in areas of fear and oppression and violence around the world; for those who are suffering in body, mind, soul; for those who are at the end of life; for those who know that being joyful is hard work and a blessing and so very fragile.

For love's sake.



  1. Susan, thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thank you for sharing the prayer and the book. Doing happiness, I like that and I have lived it first hand.

  3. I will pray for your friend to receive the gift of Joy at Little Things. God gave me this gift years ago when I was in the midst of great sorrow. In my experience sorrows whomp down upon us and are big and overwhelming--someone we love dies. Joys, on the other hand, are small, and we have to notice them--a new flower in our yard, the sunlight through the trees, the cute way our dog or cat flops over, any little funny thing throughout the day. We have to deliberately notice and take joy from those little things in order to balance out the big sorrows. I hope your friend will have many little joys come her way. And I'm grateful to you, Susan, for the little joys you bring to my life every day with your beautiful cards and your humor.

  4. Thanks, Sharon. The Joy at Little Things is, indeed, a great gift. They are right there in front of us all day long, but we do have to look.

  5. Beautiful post Susan. Thank you so much for sharing. I don't comment enough, but I truly appreciate you.

  6. Wise, thoughtful and very caring words, Susan; thank you for sharing them.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!