Today's liturgy opens with the antiphon: "In your strength, O Lord, the just one rejoices; how greatly your salvation makes him glad! You have granted him his soul's desire, alleluia" (Cf. P:s. 21 (20): 2-3). By making it personal it would read: "In your strength, O Lord, I rejoice; how greatly your salvation makes me glad! You have granted me my soul's desire, alleluia!"
Often, I would hear my mother say: "Without faith, I don't know how we would have made it through life's tragic moments." That comes from a mother who lost her own mother when she herself was 13 years of age. Because her father suffered from the tragic disease of alcoholism--was physically, sexually, and verbally abusive in drunken states (he was never sober, a 96-year old uncle told me about him)--the state placed two of the children in foster care and another in a orphanage, while my mother raised two of the older children, she herself being the oldest in the family. She witnessed her father sexually abuse one of her sisters who was not as fast as she in getting away from him. And God knows how much physical and verbal abuse she herself endured! So, basically, she was saying to us: "Without faith, I don't know how I would have made it through the tragedies of my life."
Faith was everything to my parents. My mother's and father's strength was the Lord's! How greatly the Lord's salvation was desired by my parents. Now, I believe, both of them are in heaven. Their soul's desire has been granted!
In our lives, do we realize that our strength, day by day, comes from the Lord? And furthermore, do we also realize that our soul's desire is for our salvation, nothing else really! So, in what ways do we co-operate with God in bringing us closer and closer to the gates of heaven already here on earth by the way we live the Gospel in the here and now?