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Showing posts with the label joy

Wishing You Christ's Joy

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Christ’s joy is not fleeting. His joy abides in the human heart, even in times of stress. Christ’s joy is what I wish for you this holiday season. How does one receive such a joy, so deep, that even crises cannot set it a kilter? Such joy resides in the heart of one who places their full faith and trust in Jesus. I can give personal testimony to this fact. Christ’s Joy Touched My Life Back in 2011, I felt much discontent in my job. Therefore, I knew I needed a change. So, I handed in my retirement notice. I went back to school for my Masters in Pastoral Theology and gave my life to God to do with as He sees fit. Walking away from a sure salary, and entering the unknown, took faith and trust in God. It’s been seven plus years now, and I’ve never looked back. No, I don’t make the kind of money I made in my previous life, but I have Christ’s joy, instead. And His joy is priceless! Read more...

Joy: The Cure to FOMO

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Our culture isn’t really atheist. It isn’t even agnostic. It’s just really apathetic and has a horrible case of FOMO. “Let’s live it up now, try everything, have all the fun, and then after we’ve had all the fun, then think about our eternal salvation. Maybe.”
There’s a way to reach the FOMO Millenials (and others) before they land themselves in that proverbial foxhole. The way to do that is through joy.
The fear is that when we turn to God, all the good and fun things we used to do will be taken away. We’ll be sour-faced saints, sitting in Church for hours at a time being bored out of our brains, turning down every party invitation, and never having a raucous Friday night again. For some, that might be what Christianity looks like, but not for us!
Read more at Messy Buns & Latin Chant

My Kids Taught Me The Key to Joy

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“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” –St. Gianna Beretta Molla As I raised a large family on a small farm with little disposable income, I received free Christian cognitive therapy. It was my children who taught me how to live in the present moment with joy. I couldn’t help but learn how to live a child of God because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe. Gratefulness is the key to spiritual joy, no matter how little we think we have in the eyes of modern society. In fact, St. Teresa of Avila once said she “thanked God for the things she did NOT own.” St. Teresa always stressed the need for gratitude: “In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” When Joy Eludes Uscontinue reading

Appreciating the Little Things is a Key to Joy

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I received free cognitive therapy because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe. Gratefulness is the key to spiritual joy, no matter how little we think we have in the eyes of modern society. In fact, St. Teresa thanked God for the Things she did NOT own.

The fleeting dream which eludes many of us is happiness. We are running around, miserable in our insular little worlds, only catching glimpses of the world around us through dung coloured glasses. The solution to our dilemma is easy. continue reading

Lent, Light and the Birthing of a Child

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Lent. We tend to think of Advent as a time of joyful anticipation and Lent as a dismal period of sackcloth and ashes. How ridiculous. We are preparing to celebrate THE most joyful event in the history of humanity, the death and resurrection of our Saviour. Lent is the most joyful, light-filled season for me because I empty myself so that I might die and rise with Christ in triumphant glory. The darkness of my sin, the sin of others or the sin of the world is not a malignant force as much as it is simply the absence of light. The light of just one candle banishes darkness. continue reading

Finding Christ’s Joy In My Deepest Wounds

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“In my deepest wound, I saw your glory and it dazzled me.”- Saint Augustine. 
Most people assume they will automatically feel cheerful during Christmas.  Not only does the Church celebrate the birth of our Saviour with joy, secular society also promotes the idea that everybody is happy during this season, bombarding us with images in the media of lighthearted people giving gifts and enjoying each other’s company.  In fact, there is so much pressure on people to be in good spirits during Christmas, many sink even deeper into depression when they are unable to force themselves to even crack a smile.  

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Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy on Christmas Morning

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Do we wait for Christmas morning with a joyful expectation or has life’s disappointments left us jaded and closed to any spiritual surprises or gifts from God? Many of us are actually just like Scrooge, that traditional symbol for someone who has been so wounded by disappointment and jaded by life that he cannot embrace the spirit of giving during Christmas. Scrooge wasn’t just stingy, he was miserable, with his heart closed to other people and to love and joy. Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any spiritual joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not even a tiny flicker of Light because we have locked the door to our hearts. Then, our cynicism will be confirmed once again, just like last year and we will cement our cynicism in place until next year. Yet we all long for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light. The answer to our dilemma can be discovered when we observe children because the…

Infertility, Healing and the Gift of Baby Jesus at Christmas

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By Laura Durant There are many reasons why Christmas is special to me, many reasons why it is the second most special time of the year for me (second only to Easter). However, last year, Christmas became infinitely more special. 
The Gift of Peace in God’s Will
My husband and I began trying to have a child after a couple of years into our marriage. That was eight years ago, and we have not been able to conceive. We have been to the Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas, which I highly recommend to anyone trying to conceive. While we were not able to become pregnant ourselves, I know many people who have through the help of this wonderful clinic. They were always very kind, always mindful of the struggle we were going through. I could go on and on about the kind and thoughtful ways in which they treated us and others struggling with infertility, but that is the subject for a different blog. After some time, and with a sense of peace from God to do so, we decided to discontinue trying to concei…

St. Augustine: Catholics Should Learn How to Dance

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The average Catholic probably thinks sanctity is for a select few and certainly does not associate play with holiness. Most of us are deaf to God's invitation to join His glorious, cosmic dance. Yet, life in Christ is all about surrender, letting go of control, not labouring in our own puny strength to the point of exhaustion. In fact, once we have been purified and transformed, life in Christ is child’s play, a dance of joy. Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers. I praise the dance. O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you. Saint Augustine continue 

New Year Brings Change, Like It or Not

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Out with the old, in with the new! As we welcome the promise of the New Year, let us not forget all that God provides. Everything God gives us is a gift, right down to every breath we take.

Many times when we experience struggle and illness, we want to push the pain away as soon as we can, and forget the incident. Out of sight – out of mind! We certainly do not consider struggle and illness as gifts coming from God! However, that is not necessarily true. Even times of difficulty can be a gift from God. It is at these times that He graces us with opportunity to grow closer to Him. No – He does not give you hardships and illnesses. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But, He is with you always through the struggle and the pain. He graces you with... Read more...

Advent - A Time for Preparation: Repent & Wait with Joy

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Yesterday, we began the season of Advent, a time of preparation, repentance, waiting and joy. Sunday’s second reading from Romans 13:11-14 tells us to clothe ourselves in virtue:

Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. When we put on the armor of light, we embrace virtue to... Read more...

Join the Angels and Children in The Cosmic Dance

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Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers. I praise the dance. O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you.                Saint AugustineIs joy at the heart of your life in Christ? Many Catholics feel beleaguered as they struggle to stand up for the truth in an increasingly hostile environment. Of course, it is easy to become so busy addressing serious moral and religious issues that our spirituality is relegated to Sunday Mass and a few Hail Marys rattled off on the run.

 However, if we are determined to be effective agents of change in society, we must make time to learn how to live in, with, and through Christ. Only when we are filled with the power of Holy Spirit, we will witness effectively with joy, with a dance in our step.

The average Catholic probably thinks sanctity is for a select few and certainly does not associate play with holiness
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The Spirituality and Miracles of St. Clare of Assisi

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August 11 is the memorial of St. Clare, one of my favorite saints. She was the first woman to follow the life of radical poverty practiced by St. Francis of Assisi and is the co-founder of the Poor Clares. Although I am not a Franciscan, I have had Franciscan friends, clergy, and spiritual directors instruct me on the beauty of St. Clare's spirituality. I have also learned a great deal from reading about her over the years. Clare and Francis (2007) is a film which depicts the fascinating story of her dramatic conversion and surrender to the will of God.

St. Clare is the patron saint of television. She is also the patron of eye disorders, embroiderers, good weather, and telephones.

The Contemplative Life

The Lady Clare was born into a noble family in Assisi in 1193 and was admired for her great beauty. When she heard Francis of Assisi preach his Lenten homilies at the Church of San Giorgio, she was captivated by his words. At age eighteen, she heard him say: "When there is pov…

Recipe for Holiness - Ingredient 4: JOY!

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While some may consider strange occurrences in the world as coincidence - I definitely prescribe to what I refer to as the GODCIDENCE mindset! Why wouldn't the God of the universe, who created me out of love, not also want to show himself to me -- especially when I am seeking!! 
 "Seek and ye shall find!"

Today's godcidence is brought to you by the letter J for JOY!! Though when this all began to fall into place, one would have never seen joy as the end result. Late Saturday night I received a private message on Facebook to pray for a young man who had been in a serious accident. I prayed, but went rather quickly back to my reading - feeling confident that all would be fine. 
 The next morning I learned, sadly he did not make it. My heart ached for the family's great loss; but also within those emotions was great shame and guilt for not praying harder. If it had been my son; I would have gone to my knees to beg God's mercy - regardless of my being at…

Holy, Undignified Joy

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A Christian is one who is invited… to join in the feast, to the joy of being saved, to the joy of being redeemed, to the joy of sharing life with Christ. This is a joy! You are called to a party!  Pope Francis  The Saints Were Not Miserable Even though some old Catholic icons and holy cards often depict saints and the Holy Family looking miserable, with tears streaming down their pale faces, the truth is the saints lived in God’s Presence and in His joy. Even when saints suffered, their suffering was lived out in, with and through Divine Love. St. Francis of Assisi, a famous joyful saint, wrote “The Canticle of the Sun” while almost completely blind, with a body ravaged by poverty and hard labour, bearing the stigmata.
Look at our pope, whose namesake is Francis; his very countenance radiates kindness and joy even as he bears the burden of shepherding the world’s Catholics and a grueling schedule as the pontiff. Some traditional Catholics disapprove of our joyful pope and seem irritat…

You Can’t Make a Silk Purse Out Of A Sow’s Ear

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Attendance at Mass, regular confession, spiritual exercises, fasting, and prayer are wonderful vehicles of grace but if we think pious activities will sanctify us, we will only appear to be holy on the outside like the Pharisees: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.(Matthew 23:27) Now, the Pharisees were not evil men; they were earnestly striving to be good, to follow the Law but they thought they could perfect themselves through religious practices. However, man cannot transform himself into a holy being. As my Irish grandmother would say, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” In other words, only Christ can transform us into His image and draw us into the heart of His Father. continue reading

Flat Earth, Psalms 150:1 — and Joy

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(From N. F. Gier, University of Idaho; adapted from an illustration in the New American Bible: St. Joseph Edition; used w/o permission.)
(A Mesopotamian cosmology, about two dozen centuries back.)

'The Bible says Earth is flat.'

If you live in America, and haven't heard that as a reason for rejecting Christianity: you're not paying attention.

Word seems to be getting around, though that the "dark" ages were anything but. I've discussed post-Roman Europe, science, and autopsies, before. (January 22, 2016; August 28, 2015; August 15, 2014)

About Earth being flat — I've yet to run into a Christian who says that; although I did meet one who informed me that our sun goes around Earth, not the other way around.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Laugh and Grow Strong

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“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

Laugh and Grow Strong

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Just a few quotes from the Saints, Scripture and fellow Christians  to remind serious-minded Catholics to laugh.  Somehow the average Catholic does not associate joy with holiness but believes holiness is synonymous with misery and suffering.  However, suffering is not miserable when we are suffused with the love of God and filled with His Spirit. In this post, I will simply overwhelm you with quotes all affirming the fact that joy is at the core of our spirits when we live in, with, and through Christ. St. Ignatius of Loyola understood the power of God's joy when he  invited  believers to, "Laugh and grow strong." He understood, "The joy of the Lord IS our strength." C.S. Lewis had an amusing way of describing Christian joy as the serious business of heaven. continue reading

Joy to the World! Dance with Joy!

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Dance with joy!Joy is different from happiness. Many people equate the two incorrectly. Happiness is fleeting; joy is lasting. Where joy has no “conditions,” happiness does have “conditions.” I’ll be happy if…where we place conditions on what makes us happy. Do you hear those words, “we” and “us” in that last sentence? We define happiness in this life, and we easily can disappoint ourselves; especially when the criterion for happiness is left up to us to decide upon. Many think that riches and fame will bring happiness; but that is not necessarily true. We search for happiness in vain, ... Read more...