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I have to think, in these dark times, during this epidemic of heartlessness, that we need to look to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that we need the refuge and the example of His Heart more than ever. Every day I think we are all having to find ways to decompress from all the hatred, heartlessness, uncertainty, spectacle, and genuine stress we are experiencing in our society right now, in various ways. I made a list and deleted it.

Who needs that? We are exposed to it almost constantly.

Not only that but some of us have different ideas about what plagues us and whose fault (if anyone’s) it all is, not to mention what should be done. We’re all tired of fighting but fight we still do.

We need hearts. We need Jesus. We need the One who said, “Come to me, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”

Moral outrage makes this very difficult to emulate. My mother used to say that righteous anger is the hardest kind to deal with. It’s hard because it’s justified. It’s hard because we need it. It’s hard because we should have it at times. If we didn’t nothing would ever change, nothing bad would be confronted. We need righteous anger to motivate us to take action, to defend the defenseless, to stand for what is right, to move us to sacrifice our own comfort for the lives of others.

But it can get exhausting. It can be directed in ways that are unhelpful, of course, and I am guilty of that as much as anyone.

Taking right action is helpful in mitigating shock and anger and restoring one to equanimity.

My daughter, Roise, says she has always thought that were she present when Jesus was crucified, she would have tried to save Him, she would have done something. She says, “But now there is so much of Jesus being crucified right in front of us, and here I am, not sure what to do about it.”

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There are things to do. St.John of the Cross said, “Where you find no love, put love. And then you will find love.” Take action to relieve the suffering you see. Give others the opportunity to do the same.

When you are tired and sad, take refuge in the Sacred Heart, and remember that Jesus, your love, loves even the people you have the most trouble with, as deeply and intensely as He loves you.

There is injustice. Care passionately. Be angry. It’s appropriate. But let your anger be motivated by love, and use that energy to do good.

If you notice your anger is making it hard to love, hard to pray, hard to serve, calm down and talk to God about what is happening for you. Take a long fast walk repeating the names of Jesus and Mary until you can think and act in line with the Holy Spirit’s desires for you.  Believe me, I have been having to work on this myself.

Always be asking, “What would You have me do? Jesus, give me Your Heart.”

I have learned through hard experience that when you are doing things God has not asked you to do, you will be exhausted, burned out and often upset. When you are doing the will of God, you will get tired, you may feel upset because of your empathy and compassion, but you will have fuel. You will have an inner light, no matter how hard what you are doing is.

Staying on track is hard when one feels helpless, so ask God to show you what His will is for you in a given situation. When a terrible thing happens, and you can’t stop thinking about it, God may be calling you to pray about it in a special way, to make sacrifices, to take action to relieve the suffering, and, yes, to confront wrong doers when necessary. Discernment is needed. But try not to descend into helpless rage.

This is hard stuff. Don’t forget to breath and pray.

“What do we do?” my late husband, Bob used to ask. “We love, we walk on,” he would answer himself.

Love, Christian soul, and walk on. Jesus will give us His Heart and make us strong to love.

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