Treasured Sorrow

July 28, 2011

Bob Fitzgerald of the Ignatius Retreat House in Atlanta has a phrase that continues to stick with me.  There were two words he used that have replayed in my head over and over again this week…”Treasured Sorrow”. 

Bob’s definition of a “Treasured Sorrow” is a life experience where there was both grief and joy.  It is a life situation where we experience pain, challenges, hurt, and grief.  At the same time, we come out of the experience in way that we treasure the experience we have been through because of what we have learned and who we have become.  While the experience itself may have been hard to live through, and perhaps we are still living with it, we know that the growth we experienced, the reliance on God we now have, and the new awareness we have about ourselves and life may have taken years if not for the experience.

What in your life would you consider to be “Treasured Sorrow”? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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1 Comment

  1. Suesun

    A few years ago depression hit me. I was concerned about many things especially the state of the world and how my children and grandchildren would cope in a future that seemed to be getting worse and worse. I had nightmares, panic attacks, cried a lot, could not focus on the things I had to do, went around in circles feeling hopeless and helpless. I knew God was there, that he has a plan that this is part of life, that worrying would not help. I had a good home and loving family, but I did not want to go out to see friends, did not want to teach catechism because i thought this would force some parents to get involved, but none did. I felt like running away. I even started planning how i would do it, except I realized that this would not really help anything and that I needed to get some councelling and help. So I went, and for awhile things did not seem to get much better. Then I had a dream that I was in Church and people were judging me because i did not want to continue teaching as I used to do. I looked toward the altar. There was a woman there with a Chalice floating in front of her. I went closer & saw a tiny baby sitting in the Chalice with what looked like bubbles around him around him. Then I realized this was Mary showing me her son, alive to each of us in Communion. It made me feel amazed, hopeful and wonderful. When I awoke I was determined to paint this image with God’s help, to share with others. To make them think about how we are all connected through Him and this gives us hope for a better world. S.G

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