St. Fuastina recorded in her diary these words from Jesus: “My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and exaggerated anxiety” (Paragraph 1488)
This is something I have to repeat to myself almost every day. This has especially been the case as we’ve had reading after reading of God reacting to Israel’s unfaithfulness. I feel live we’ve read chastisement after chastisement, often accompanied by a rebuke from Jesus at the Pharisees. As I said yesterday, though, the Psalm usually invites us into a joyful repentance that glorifies God’s goodness in His mercy, and today’s first readings concludes with that very mercy as God says He “will not give vent to (His) blazing anger.”
I know about God’s goodness, mercy, and infinite love for me, but sometimes I still find myself, in Jesus’s words, facing discouragement and exaggerated anxiety. There are often lots of reasons for this, but at the end of the day the evil one is going to maximize on these feelings in order to drive you as far from your Father as possible.
I was discouraged by the readings as I was praying with them this morning, but I decided to open my bible to one of my favorite passages: Isaiah 43:1-7. It’s beautiful in its entirety, but it’s verse 4 that is particularly meaningful for me.
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
Read that again slowly. “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
As I read this I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that God knows our love language and He wants to speak it to us! If you’re unfamiliar with love languages, they are 5 particular ways of giving and receiving affection that most people can relate with. They include: gift-giving, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time.
My primary love language is words of affirmation. Whenever I’m feeling down, kind words that really affirm who I am as opposed to what I do really encourage me and remind me of my value (affirming things I do well doesn’t hurt either though!).
The Lord knew I needed this reminder. In verse one He says “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.”
“You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
I’m sure we all often find ourselves facing discouragement and exaggerated anxiety. That’s why Jesus calls it one of the greatest obstacles to holiness. But maybe a way that you can fight against these roadblocks with the help of God is to lean into the way that He wants to speak your love language to you. There’s a way for each one of them. Take this question to prayer and see what He says.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization