I am so excited! I am taking an online course on none other than Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, "The Study of Joy in the Gospel" (Evangelli Gaudium)
I've taken other online catechist courses, but this one was perfect since I was blogging about JOY! And I hear from Francis my own thoughts on why we should being JOYFUL Catholics! Why else? We have the Lord!
" The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ."
If you are interested in reading some of it, it's very readable and enjoyable!
We find ourselves constantly confronted by Joy suckers, in the news, media (and I am a journalist so I can ride their case about that!) as well as our own tendency when talking with others to find a negative thing and wring everything out of it we can! It's awful! Yet it seems to be a common thread in our conversations. The devil is in the world constantly tripping us up. In the guise of making us think we are being prideful if we are too happy, he throws out these little arrows and barbs that defeat our happiness bubble. But if we can figure out his ploys he has no power over us. How? Keep living joyful! Keep a joy journal, thank God for the beauty of the day.
This morning there was a gorgeous sunrise! There were a few clouds in the east, some wisps of contrails and painted behind all that was a pink, yellow and orange glow which grew deeper in color the closer to the ball of the sun it got. THAT was awesome! Thank you God!
Do you notice people on the street as you drive by? Do you say a prayer for them if they look cold or lonely? My morning drive to work is full of prayer, usually first about my family, but then I add names of other family or friends as well as people I don't know as I see them walking somewhere, working outside, or driving by at the stoplight. Morning is when I can say prayers in my car. Unfortunately by my lunchtime or late afternoon drive home I'm not so patient. I know, I'm working on it. I wish I could stay in my morning prayerful mood EVERY time I get into my car. I'm a work in progress. I have taped the word PATIENT to the upper part of my windshield to help me in those times. I need to fill the top portion of my car roof with other reminders such as JOY! PRAY! etc to help me while in traffic. I'll keep trying. A joyous Christian is the best evangelizer!
Sometimes the best we can do is keep trying and trying and trying. Again I'm reminded of Jesus' journey to the cross when he fell, got back up and fell and got back up again. He did that just so I knew I can keep falling as long as I keep getting back up. Thank you, Lord. I do so many times a day, yet you love me. That makes me JOYOUS!!