Although, maybe it is.
I don't like making candy. After a while, the smell is just sickening. It's messy. It takes up a lot of space.
I also don't like cutting out felt numbers. I now dream about gooey sickeningly sweet felt numbers and nothing else.
While it would be nice to say I'm offering it all up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, the truth is, I can't because I'm really not suffering. Sister St. Aloysius and Sister Mary Fiacre are sharing hog heaven and seeing them having so much fun lifts the burden of the oozing and burnt stove top and the grooves on my thumb from the scissors.
It's the same reason, I suppose, that many of you can sit through a soccer game or a T Ball game played by little kids who do not even knowing what to hit or which way to run while your kaboose complains to the inner workings of your brain about the hard, hard bleachers.
Life isn't always about you. Your happiness often has little to do with you actually doing things to make yourself happy.
Which brings me to today's question:
Sister, Do you have a patron saint or perhaps just a good saint quote about sharing in someone else's joy? (instead of being sad that you don't have the same joy in your life) I have a friend (no really!) that's struggling with this. Thanks!
I do. Mother Teresa. She's technically not a saint yet. She is Blessed, at this point. And she indeed has some words to share with your friend.
But let's talk about the problem for one moment: the green eyed monster, jealousy.
Jealousy is not just one emotion. It's a big ball of nasty emotion rolled into one thing that we call being jealous. Like one of those awful ice cream cake rolls with some kind of hard pretend ice cream and even harder freezer burned stale tasting cake.
On the inside is anger. Anger that we didn't get what you got. That's no fun and it's a sin.
On the outside is want and longing, bitterness and greed, self pity and sadness. What a nasty freezer burned stale cake that is! No wonder she is struggling. I'd have trouble choking all that down, too.
So first she needs to take a good look at what it is she is trying to swallow. She might want to just dump that in the trash while the hostess isn't looking.
Except, there is no hostess. She has served herself this stale and tasteless 'treat'. Time to put down that fork and push herself away from the table. Put a napkin over that mess and step away.
Blessed Mother Teresa. It turns out she was almost never happy. She felt abandoned by God. But she just kept going because she knew she was doing the right thing. And because life isn't about making yourself happy. It's about bringing comfort and peace to others.
Comfort and peace lives there, in the happiness of others, not rolled up in what they have and we don't have.
Here's my perpetual answer for everyone who asks "why me?"
"Why not you?"
Here are the comforting words of Mother Teresa, the perpetually abandoned nun who worked with lepers and mind bogglingly sick and poor people. She did not originate these thoughts, but this is her version of them.
1. The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.