Take the good with the bad??? Growing up in New Orleans, I have always heard, “laissez les bons temps rouler,” which is French for, “let the good times roll!” So which old adage is most appropriate in the life of a Christian?? Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage as we explore the City of New Orleans and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem in search for answers.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! If you are from New Orleans, like me and many other “natives”, as we like to call them, you would know exactly what this Cajun saying indicates. Translated into English as, “Let the good times roll,” this phrase is often mentioned at times like this, when Mardi Gras is rapidly approaching. As a matter of fact, as I sit here typing, some of our city’s finest are lining various neighborhood streets with metal barricades in anticipation of the weekend’s upcoming night parades. Ironically, the entire Season of Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday”, anticipates the arrival of another important day for Catholic “natives”, that of Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent. The juxtaposition of Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday provides us with our first clue in regards to the desired life of a Christian: approach life with joy, knowing that harder times are sure to come.
An excerpt from my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, highlighting another historic event in New Orleans, will provide our second clue.
Book Excerpt. Chapter Twenty-Two: Lost But not Alone (The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)
Enjoying family time on the couch, the couple stared at the repetitive TV warnings in disbelief, for the dreaded storm of the century was headed their way. The husband and wife had no choice but to grab what little belongings they could and leave their new home as soon as possible. Two days later, Hurricane Katrina slammed directly into their home town of New Orleans. For weeks, they were refugees in Atlanta living from day to day in a small hotel on the outskirts of town. They felt alone and isolated, for they were unable to contact any friends or family members. Unaware of when they could return, or what would be awaiting them, they cried out to God in desperation. He responded. Finding a welcoming spirit, among locals and fellow refugees, the small family of three found the necessary love and support to get them through this difficult time period. They returned home, with their two year old son, four weeks later. Although the recovery process was slow, they managed to pull the broken pieces together and move forward with hope and joy.
The juxtaposition of hope, in the face of such profound uncertainty, provides us with our second clue in regards to the desired life of a Christian: call out to the Lord and trust in His divine providence when facing the really bad moments in life! Next, we will travel to the ancient site of our Lord’s Ascension, located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, in search of our third and final clue.
According to Acts of the Apostles, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus instructed His apostles to wait in Jerusalem for, “the fulfillment of my Father’s promise,” the gift of the Holy Spirit, (Acts 1:4-5). “No sooner had he said this, than he was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud which took him from their sight,” (Acts 1:9). Ten days later, these same men sat alone and afraid in a small upper room on the outskirts of town. Fortunately, they were not alone, for there too, was their spiritual mother, Mary, providing encouragement. Moments later, they “heard a strong, driving wind” and saw “tongues as of fire” part and “come to rest on each of them.” Immediately, “all were filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:2-4).
The juxtaposition of the Apostles’s exuberant joy during their forty days with the risen Lord, subsequent fear in the upper room, and eventual gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, vividly illustrate our third and final clue in regards to the desired life of a Christian: remember the joy of new life available to each baptized Christian, seek comfort and guidance from Mary, our spiritual mother, and finally, call upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit when great courage is warranted. So, should we, as Christians, take the good with the bad??? As a native New Orleanian, I would say, “No” and respond with a resounding, “laissez les bons temps rouler,” for as Christians we should strive to:
- approach life with joy, knowing that harder times are sure to come,
- call out to the Lord and trust in His divine providence when facing the really bad moments in life,
- seek the comfort and guidance of Mary in times of fear and uncertainty,
- call upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit when great courage is warranted and finally
- remember the hope filled promise spoken to the Apostles, as they gazed up into the heavens, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the skies? This Jesus who has been taken from you will return, just as you saw him go up into the heavens,” (Acts 1:10-11). Amen
Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You.
Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!