In one of the books I am reading, the author includes a prayer that goes:
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ;
Rest your weary ones; bless your dying ones; soothe your suffering ones; pity your afflicted ones; shied your joyous ones. And all for your love’s sake.
As reflected by the author, the line “shield your joyous ones” deeply resonates with me as well. I consider myself a relatively joyous person, even when I am not feeling particularly joyous. And I’ve learned a long time ago that instead of seeking revenge on someone who has wronged me, I preoccupy myself so much with self-improvement and preserving my happiness that I have little time to descend to my perpetrator’s level. Besides, there’s nothing that irritates a person more than seeing the person they want to bring down…happy. But as a human, I am not always successful in maintaining my joy. Sometimes, peoples’ negativity wears on me and I lose it. So, this prayer personally strikes a deep chord, bringing me to tears when I first read it. It’s a reminder that it takes strength and courage to choose joy because the truth is it’s easier to choose despair, just like it’s easier to choose bad over good. This prayer is also a golden reminder to constantly strive to be joyous, and to do this means to possess an inner peace so profound, nothing – not the criticism, the gossip, the failures, the disappointments – will shake me for I know where I am going. So, I continue shaping my inner peace by holding steadfast in cultivating my virtues.