‘Is He — Quite Safe?’

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary, and you’ll find spiritual gems. Like this one:

Others distrust My goodness and have no desire to experience that sweet intimacy in their own hearts, but go in search of Me, off in the distance, and do not find Me. This distrust of My goodness hurts Me very much. If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will? Often a soul wounds Me mortally, and then no one can comfort Me. They use My graces to offend Me (Diary, 580).

Jesus is goodness itself, but many of us often have a hard time believing this. Frequently, throughout St. Faustina’s Diary, Jesus speaks about how much our distrust of His goodness hurts Him.  

I find it easy to trust in God’s goodness when things in my life are going well. When suffering comes my way, however, that’s when I have the tendency to doubt. When I’m suffering and doubting God’s goodness, that’s often when I feel the temptation to look elsewhere for comfort — that’s when I frequently fall into sin. But sin never satisfies. Any time I’ve ever given in to any sort of temptation, I’ve always been disappointed at how little it ultimately satisfies me. On top of that, sin wounds Christ’s Heart, especially mortal sin. 

Sin, of course, hurts Christ because He loves us, and He wants what’s best for us. When we choose to sin, we harm ourselves and that tears Jesus up inside. He knows that what He offers us, what we reject when we sin, is so much better for us. Jesus wants us to experience His peace, which we can receive through a spiritually intimate relationship with Him. In the aforementioned Diary passage, Jesus calls the intimacy to which He invites us “sweet.” It satisfies far more than any amount of sin ever could. 

So then, why don’t we all just accept this sweet intimacy Christ offers us? Because as you know, following Christ means taking up His Cross. If you’re like me, in your imperfection, you’ve rejected the Cross more than a few times in your life. The Cross, after all, is difficult. Unfortunately, when we reject the Cross, we reject the ultimate proof of Christ’s love for us. No wonder we doubt His goodness sometimes! 

In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan asks a question about Aslan the Lion, an archetype for Christ. “Is he — quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion. …”

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “… Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The Lord never promised us a completely safe life, without pain. In fact, He entered into our pain Himself in order to redeem us — to prove His great love for us. When we suffer, it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. After all, Jesus and the Blessed Mother both suffered intensely. Did He abandon them? Of course not. Their pain became a sacrifice through which the world could be redeemed. Their pain revealed to us the love God the Father has for us. 

Our pain can reveal the love we have for God the Father, too. Through our pain, offered in union with the Cross, we can win graces for ourselves and for the whole world. When we say “yes” to His plan for us, we will suffer, but we’ll also experience that sweet intimacy only Christ can offer us.  

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