SOLACE: Soul + Grief

Saying 'YES' to God in Grief

November 10, 2023 Candee Lucas Season 2 Episode 47
SOLACE: Soul + Grief
Saying 'YES' to God in Grief
Show Notes Transcript

 Drawing strength from the teachings of Jean-Pierre Caussade, SJ, a French Catholic Jesuit writer. His wisdom on the sacrament of the present moment, a state of self-abandonment to the needs of the current moment, can provide a profound sense of peace during challenging times.

The journey through grief can often feel like a lonely one, but you're not alone. Whether you're longing for spiritual direction, struggling with surrender, or simply seeking a comforting voice, this episode offers a beacon of hope.

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SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

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Candee Lucas:

We welcome you to SOLACE: Soul + Grief. I'm Candee Lucas, your host. When we started this ministry, we understood how difficult it was to lose a loved one, and we had hoped to create a space and a ministry that addressed these concerns and served as a source of comfort and wisdom for those who travel with God on their grief journey. This podcast is brought to you by Catholic Cemeteries Diocese of San Jose. We're glad you're here. You're always welcome in our circle of healing, love and support. What follows are some takeaways from the work "sacrament of the present moment and how it informs our grief journey.

Candee Lucas:

In the initial stages of grief, we are like a child, whom one leads wherever one will and who sees only what is pointed out to him. Frequently, we feel deprived of spiritual direction. It seems as if God leaves us with no other support but Himself. We may feel that we dwell in darkness, oblivion and rejection. We may feel or suffer distress and misery, and then, when we remember God, who seeks no pure aspirations in his loved ones, then the total surrender of our soul in order that we may exist by grace and divine action alone. We are neglected by men, but in possession of God, you are pure, steadfast and passionate, though deeply tranquil love. You make no other effort. We only know that we must allow ourselves to be carried along in God's hands, to serve Him in His own way. Often we will not know for what purpose, but God knows it well. The world will think us as useless. The truth is that, secretly and through unknown channels, our souls pour out infinite blessings on people who may never have heard of us and whose existence we are ourselves unaware. So it is that we are always waiting on God. He gives us silence, quiet, oblivion and isolation. It is like some mysterious balm whose uncountable blessing is unconsciously felt. It is a question of waiting on the good pleasure of God. It gives us mastery over ourselves through the habitual surrender of our hearts and, whether we obey it consciously or unconsciously, directs us to the service of others. We should belong wholly to God. Nothing so well illustrates this condition as that of a servant whose sole duty lies in obeying instantly whatever orders our Master may have, not employing our time in our own affairs, which we must put aside in order to belong to God, to master all things as he bids us at all times.

Candee Lucas:

In grief, it may seem, the last emotion we can muster is obedience, but I have come to think of it as more like saying 'yes' to God. As you awake in the morning and your eyes flutter open in that moment before you remember your new, horrible truth. Say 'yes' to God and then, when you do remember that your life has changed inexorably, say 'yes' to Him again. Not, yes, I understand. Yes, I accept these new facts. Yes, I accept this new life without my loved one. More in the vein of 'yes', I accept your love. Yes, I accept your life. Yes, I accept that you will travel on this journey with me. Yes, I accept the fact that you will be by my side. Yes, I accept your love and your healing and trust. Whatever is in store for me, you will be by my side. That's what this 'yes' is about.

Candee Lucas:

These stirrings of grace must be followed without relying for a single moment on our own judgment, reason or effort. It is God who must decide what we will do and when, and not ourselves. When we walk with God, his will directs us and must replace every other guidance, which means, as we travel through a difficult day, through difficult times, it might require us to stop more and listen more and pray more. Nevertheless, souls find themselves at a loss in this state, without the help of insight or discrimination, which used to guide and direct all that we did, or of grace which no longer manifests itself. But it is in these very laws that we can rediscover everything, since that same grace, taking upon itself a new form, repays us a hundredfold for what has been taken from us by the perfection of its hidden influence.

Candee Lucas:

Often the heart sighs deeply for it, cannot be comforted. Experience shows that nothing sets a light in the heart so much as its loss. No doubt it is mortifying for our souls to lose sight at the divine will, which vanishes from view only in order to get behind them, so to speak, and push them along, becoming no longer an aim but a motive. We should remember that the purpose of grace is the perfection of the heart, not the mind.

Candee Lucas:

Jean-Pierre Caussade, SJ was a French Catholic Jesuit writer known for his work Abandonment to Divine Providence", also translated as the sacrament of the present moment, and his posthumously published letters of instruction to the nuns of the visitation of Nancy, where he was spiritual director from 1733 to 1740. While he is best known for his work with the sisters, he also spent years as a preacher in southern and central France, as a college director at Perpignan and Albi and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse--de Caussade is remembered for, among other things, his belief that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state. That concludes another episode. Please support us by subscribing on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcast. We always welcome your comments and feedback. Remember, spiritual direction is always available through Catholic Cemeteries. I'm Candee Lucas, chaplain, aftercare coordinator and spiritual director at Catholic Cemeteries. You can reach us through the email or telephone number in the show notes. Be gentle with yourselves. Travel safely with Vaya con Dios.