The following comes from Fr. Dwight Longenecker:
Sister Mary Lucy was a Poor Clare nun who suffered greatly. She lost her eyesight and had a degenerative bone disease which caused her spine to crumble.
The doctors could do very little to help her. I used to visit her regularly, but never once heard her complain.
Instead she had a huge radiant smile. I asked her, “Sister, do you ever feel angry at the Lord because you have lost your sight?”
“Oh no!” she’d exclaim, “I’ve seen such wonderful things that I would never have been able to see if I had my sight!”
She was a mystic.
Another time I asked her if she was in pain because of her crumbling spine.
She said, “Constantly!”
Doesn’t that make you unhappy?
“No! It makes me happy because it brings me so close to Jesus!”
I look around me at so many people who are so unhappy over tiny trifles and I remember Sister Mary Lucy and I remember St Augustine’s famous quote, “Lord make me chaste… but not yet.”
Then I think how many people seem to be saying to God, “Lord, make me happy…but not yet.”
Here we are as Americans–the richest, healthiest, best educated, most self reliant and able human beings who have ever lived and yet so much unhappiness.
I’m not talking about those who have real cause for unhappiness–the poor, the unemployed, the chronically sick, the bereaved, prisoners, those with terminal illness, but I’m talking about the big babies that most of us are.
Why so much unhappiness, griping, grumbling, whinging and whining, bitching and bellyaching over so many totally petty and silly things?
I think it’s because we WANT to be unhappy.