By: Alba Mejia, Associate
The first request is that of consoling others. Here the believer is to ask how they might console someone else first, rather than seeking to be comforted in their grief or trouble. The idea that in caring and comforting others we ourselves will find comfort resonates with Christ's words in the Beatitudes.
We as people have a habit to seek our friends when we are in pain. Oftentimes this is out of the need to get others to sympathize with our pain, our grievance. Our only consolation ultimately lies with God. If we have the habit of seeking consolation from people, or possessions (going shopping, for instance), or eating, or entertainment, what will happen at the time of death when none of them will be there to find solace? Where will our refuge be then? Only God will be there for eternity.
However, there are times when it is beneficial to share with others on the path of our suffering, so they can remind us about who we really are. Francis had his brothers go out two-by-two so they could remind each other when the cloud of forgetfulness would block the sun of knowing. Here is where confession is helpful. It is important to speak ones ills to another who will listen without judgment, standing in the place of equanimity.
BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY (Matthew 5:7)