Walking Towards Joy!

Walking Towards Joy!

Acts 22: 30-23:11

“. . .That was fuel on the fire. The quarrel flamed up and became violent. . .”

Joy and Resentment Cannot Coexist
“Of one thing I am sure. Complaining is self-perpetuating and counterproductive. Whenever I express my complaints in the hope of evoking pity and receiving the satisfaction I so much desire, the result is always the opposite of what I tried to get. A complainer is hard to live with, and very few people know how to respond to the complaints made by a self-rejecting person. The tragedy is that, often, the complaint, once expressed, leads to that which is most feared: further rejection. . . . Joy and resentment cannot coexist.” Fr. Henri Nouwen————-     The Center for Disease Control estimates  1,002, 422 deaths and a 104, 00 getting ill daily from the Coronavirus. As of the end of last week, the Bay Area reported between 4,000 and 4500 new coronavirus cases a day–roughly double the daily reports from the start of the month.    In talking to people I hear of the numbers, and of how lucky we are with the vaccine for people who get less sick; how “blessed” they have been for living in a place where the disease is not near; and so on.    I hear of “quarrels flaming up”, over the non-vaccinated, and resentment towards them.    We read the numbers, yet we fail to see the suffering..    Let me take a few minutes and share with you examples of the suffering:    Joe: 45 years old, began feeling nauseated, and within a week was in the ICU, hooked to all of the needed medical devices. He gasped for breath, his whole body in pain, and he died in so much fear.
Shannon, 20, a young street kid, began to have chills and fever, and went to the emergency room and was placed in isolation; he died in pain, and alone except for the priest holding his hand.
Myself: I have had, five vaccines, from a study at Standford, yet, one morning I awoke feeling sick, nauseated, and with fever. Testing positive for the coronavirus I stayed in for three weeks, with few symptoms. Yet the lingering side effects, light as well, tiredness, complete exhaustion after being up for four hours and failing to remember names, and dates, still continue. I am more easily susceptible to other viruses. as well.
    I can list for hours the ones who have died on the streets, and those who have side effects far worse, much, much worse than mine.    My best friend is an antivirus person, we joke, and he reminds me it is a matter of principle in his eyes, but I will never, never judge or stay away from his presence.
    To find more joy in our lives we need to let go of our resentment, and our anger, towrds others, for who they are; to find joy we all need to see the human toll in the suffering and pain this disease has caused.
    People are suffering, let us walk towards joy in seeing their suffering, and ministering to each one like our friends and neighbors.
Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

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