Right now I am in the middle of the winter blues. The excitement of the holiday season has come to a close and our weather has been bitter cold [subzero temps]. The gray days have me in a gray mood. When I reflect on what Our Lady of Guadalupe said to Juan Diego: “Am I not here, I who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy?” - I have to stand in the truth and answer her “no”. Actually she leads me to the only source of true joy, but I seek false joys.
I seek a joy that comes from losing a pound on the scale - which has not been happening lately as I have an injury so I am off exercise but not off the over consumption of sweets I started at Christmas time. I seek the joy of a good hair day, which rarely occurs so I begin my day in a funk. I seek the joy of being esteemed by my husband and boss, which certainly does not happen routinely to produce daily happiness. I seek the joy the world tempts me with- beauty, praise, and monetary security. But God knows better – He knows how easily I would forget about Him if I were to get lost in these material idols.
There is human peace and human happiness, both of which are short-lived and temporary. On the other hand, there is Christ’s peace and Christ’s happiness, which are born in us as a permanent reality when based on faith. What is this human peace and human happiness? It is something we obtain from people. We obtain it as though it were given to us out of pity from another person. In other words, looking for this kind of peace and happiness is like begging for scraps. These small bits of human esteem, a hint of praise, a compliment or someone’s positive perception of us, are simply scraps on which we want to build our peace. Sometimes a person manages to get what he wants; he gains others’ esteem or becomes successful, and gains this common human scrap that gives him some satisfaction. This is the human peace, begged for, which the world gives. But how fleeting this peace is! It does not take much for our human peace to dissipate and for our happiness to vanish. It is enough that someone is rude to us, is vindictive, or gives us a suspicious glance. There is no longer peace within us because the scraps we begged for are taken from us.
The peace of Christ comes as a result of your choosing him. This basic choice, which is called the fundamental option, is the most important one. Is Christ really of the greatest value to you? He redeemed you on the Cross and was raised, giving you the opportunity to gain true peace and true happiness. This kind of peace evoking permanent joy is within your grasp, thanks to the sacrifice on the Cross and the resurrection. You, however, must make a choice. You have to choose Christ with his peace by taking advantage of the fruits of the Cross and the resurrection. This should be a process of your acceptance of Christ. You cannot choose peace and happiness if you have not chosen Christ. However, he himself helps you with this choice by taking away whatever hampers and enslaves you. He overthrows your idols. When you accept that, then this will be your choice your declaration for peace, happiness, and freedom. It will be the choice made by your faith.
Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, 3rd. ed. (Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2012), 129-132
I do not always choose Christ as my greatest value, and this is what causes my sadness. Christ knew I would not always walk His way, so from the Cross He asked his mother to take care of me (cf John 19:26), and she accepted this entrustment and will always be faithful to it. And that truth is my hope for eternal joy!