Beloved: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 5:6-11
The Catholic Faith is not a faith that embraces a false continual forced cheerfulness. Yes, it always retains a certain hope behind suffering, as seen in the above scripture, but the suffering itself is not denied.
We are expected to weep at times.
We are not expected to go about with a fake smile when we have encountered the loss of a loved one, or received the news of a terminal illness of a child, etc. G.K. Chesterton, in his character of Fr. Brown, addressed the false “Religion of Cheerfulness” which was being pushed in his day. The character of Fr. Brown speaks after the pastor of this religion was found dead under suspicious circumstances, and was discovered to have sorrows which he was forced to hide; hence, he unfortunately, developed unhealthy coping behaviors:
“And the Religion of Cheerfulness — ”
“Why couldn’t they let him weep a little…behind that merry mask was
the empty mind…to keep up his hilarious public level, he fell back on…
alcoholism…he sat here and cried he was in hell…”
The pastor of the “Religion of Cheerfulness” simply could not keep up the show.
Yes, Catholicism expects us to weep in this veil of tears while we simultaneously remember that “…after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Our Lady, who bore much sorrow in her life, understands our sorrows, and carries them with us. She said to St. Bernadette, and I think she might say it to all of us: “I cannot promise you happiness in this life, only in the next.”
May her Immaculate Heart, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, be our refuge today.