Showing posts with the label Christian joy

Catholics Are Easter People

Father Marko Ivan Rupnik In fact, everything that exists and moves in the Church – the sacraments, doctrine, institutions – draws its strength from Christ’s Resurrection. (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa,  Life in Christ ,  67) Even though the Church continually invites Catholics to live in the Resurrection of Christ, many of us cling to our suffering. As a result, our spirituality is focused mainly on the Crucifixion even though we celebrate our release from prison liturgically every year. The candles we light at the Easter Vigil symbolically illuminate our path forward, showing us how to move through the darkness of our sin and suffering to victory with Christ. continue reading

Laugh and Grow Strong

“Laugh and grow strong.” ( St. Ignatius of Loyola) I was stunned when I first discovered this quote by St. Ignatius because I associated the soldier-saint, who founded the intellectual Jesuit order, with the serious, arduous  Spiritual Exercises . I could hardly imagine St. Iggy spouting a phrase which appears at first glance to be flippant. Yet, this quote illustrates that Ignatius grasped a deep, spiritual truth which many Catholics do not understand:  joy is a gift from God. The average Catholic does not associate joy with holiness, but believes holiness is synonymous with Christ-like suffering. However, the truth is even redemptive suffering is not miserable when we are suffused with the love of God and filled with His Spirit. Joy is at the core of our spirit when we live in, with, and through Christ. This  holy joy is the source of a Christian’s strength. “God Made Us For Joy”- continue reading

Laughter Turned a Tragedy into a Comedy of Errors

''LAUGH AND GROW STRONG''- ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA What was my reaction to this overwhelming scene? I leaned against the kitchen wall and slid down till I sat on the floor with my legs sticking straight out. Then I giggled. Then I laughed and laughed and laughed until my stomach ached and tears were streaming down my face.  continue reading

God Made Us For Joy

God made us for joy.- St. John Paul II

The Gift of Sufferring

“God loves us, so He makes us  the gift of suffering. I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids, and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice, ”Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.” What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was I would be shallow, without depth and strength. If this is the situation, I say bring on suffering because I want—no I  need —to live in reality, in God. continue

Holy Bat Joy! - First Fridays with Francis

I look forward to my regular column called "First Fridays with Francis" where I share what   our Holy Father has   said that has been inspirational to me.      This month I have taken my inspiration from his homily at  Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta residence on April 24 .   Pope Francis spoke of Christians who are afraid of the joy of Christ’s resurrection.   He compared them to bats hiding in dark caves that prefer the shadows and avoid the light. “This is a Christian’s disease. We’re afraid of joy. It’s better to think: Yes, yes, God exists, but He is there. Jesus has risen and He is there. Somewhat distant. We’re afraid of being close to Jesus because this gives us joy. And this is why there are so many ‘funeral’ (mournful) Christians, isn’t it? Those whose lives seem to be a perpetual funeral. They prefer sadness to joy. They move about better in the shadows, not in the light of joy, like those animals who only come out at night, not in the light of day, wh