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Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

Today begins the Order’s celebration of the 5th Centenary of St.Teresa’s birth. Read Pope Francis’ message to the Bishop of Avila on St. Teresa’s Feast here.

In his message he stresses that our journey in the Footsteps of St. Teresa should be a path of joy, prayer, fraternity and time.

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The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The essence of this devotion is to His mercy and love and to make reparation for the neglect, indifference and ingratitude of man that results in Christ being left alone, abandoned and forgotten in the Blessed Sacrament.

St. Therese had a different approach to the Sacred Heart – it was always that the heart of Jesus was a heart of love – a purifying love. Suffering is part of the process of this purifying love, but it is not the end. For our saint this devotion is an aid in conforming our hearts to the heart of Jesus – one that is burning with love.

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St. Therese particularly emphasized Christ’s love as merciful. In a letter to Maurice Belliere written just weeks before she was to die, St. Therese wrote in order to inspire him, and all of us who call ourselves His friends, that:

 

“the heart of God is saddened more by the thousand little indelicacies of His friends than it is by the faults, even the grave ones, which people of the world commit.” But my dear little brother, it seems to me that it is only when his friends, ignoring their continual indelicacies, make a habit out of them and don’t ask forgiveness for them, that Jesus can utter those touching words which the Church puts on his lips in Holy Week: “These wounds you see in the palms of my hands are the ones I received in the house of those who loved me.”  For those who love Him, and after each fault come to ask pardon by throwing themselves into His arms, Jesus trembles with joy. He says to His angels what the father of the prodigal son said to his servants: “Put his best robe on him and put a ring on his finger, and let us rejoice” Ah! my brother, how the goodness of Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known! 

prodigal 11

The heart of Jesus is full of mercy – an infinite treasure of mercy. St. Therese urges us to go the Jesus with confidence in His mercy. She sees in the Gospel account of the prodigal son a message that applies not only to those who have committed great sins, but even to those who have turned away from venial sins. If we humble ourselves and strive to rise again after each fall or fault committed through a lack of reflection or through weakness, Jesus never tires of forgiving us and is thrilled “with joy” when we humbly acknowledge our faults and throw ourselves “into His arms” asking for forgiveness. Jesus’ love for us will be as tender as ever.


 

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It is difficult for people to be joyful. Life isn’t easy. We are often weighed down with problems. Yet we were made for joy!
The opposite of joy is sadness. My last post was titled “sadness” and I receive more visits to my blog that day than on any other since I began to blog. So today I am hoping to raise awareness to this fact: that God is the God of joy and wants His children to be happy.
We have a soul and this is what is in us that tunes us to the inner life of the joyfulness of God. It is our soul that enables us to enjoy God in prayer. Did anyone ever teach you that you were to enjoy God in prayer? Enjoying God in prayer- seems like the concept should be self evident, but for some reason it isn’t. The little known secret of discovering enjoyment in prayer is that God is present to us; He is the God of love and joy. If we truly believe and understand this then prayer will not be just a duty, but a joy!
Do you think of prayer as drudgery or perhaps as something altogether boring? True joyfulness, that joyfulness that is seen in the saints, comes from being rooted in and nourished by a deep prayer life. This is the grace-filled secret to joyfulness.
“To live always joyfully. God is infinite joy”

“When one loves, everything is joy. The cross doesn’t weigh down. Martyrdom isn’t felt. One lives more in heaven than on earth.” (St. Teresa of the Andes)

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Sadness

The greatest enemy of spiritual joy is sadness. It is so easy to serve God fervently, to spread goodness and practice virtue when we are aware of God’s presence in our lives. However, when we experience feelings of sadness and despondency we act in the opposite manner. We have no inner peace, we are troubled and down-hearted. We go about weak and all our good resolutions have diminished. We may even avoid praying. Yet prayer is what we really should do.
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray.” (James 5:13)
When we are suffering from sadness we should turn to prayer so that our hearts can be strengthened. Prayer puts us into God’s presence and this will lift our spirit and fill our souls with confidence.Our awarenss of God’s joyful presence will bring peace, the peace for which our hearts long.
Rejoice in the Lord! We celebrate this season of Easter for fifty days! We have reasons for joy…
Beloved brethren and sons and daughters, is it not normal that joy should dwell in us, when our hearts contemplate or rediscover, in faith, the fundamental and simple reasons for joy? God has so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; through His Spirit, God’s presence does not cease to enfold us with His tenderness and to fill us with His life; and we are journeying towards the blessed transfiguration of our life in the path of the resurrection of Jesus. (Apostolic Exhortation, On Christian Joy, Pope Paul VI, 1975)
We as Chrsitains should always be filled with joy, even in our sufferings, because of Christ. He is the source of our joy, the cause of our joy. St. Paul tells us in several places in his Epistles to rejoice in the Lord always, to pray without ceasing and to give thanks to God for everything, counting all to be pure joy.
The attainment of such an outlook is not just a matter of psychology. It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Apostolic Exhortation, On Christian Joy, Pope Paul VI, 1975)
The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22)

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