I don’t know about you but this seems unrealistic to me. I mean, how can one be joyful all the time? That would probably actually even get on people’s nerves. I am choosing to write about this today because I myself have been fighting some feelings of sadness and gloominess. So, this notion of Christian Joyfulness I am finding a bit perplexing.
Pope Francis recently commented that a Christian without joy has poor spiritual health. Wow! How can that be? I attend Mass a few times a week, as well as Sunday and spend time weekly in Eucharistic Adoration. I have prioritized my prayer time and rarely miss my daily Rosary, sometimes I pray this wonderful prayer twice. I genuinely love the Lord and strive to have a personal relationship with him. I am actively involved in community service and devote my time to spread God’s word and love to others. How can being sad mean I am not a good Christian?
Well, it doesn’t really mean that at all. Pope Francis is referring to an inner spiritual joy that is present within us through Grace. This joy enters us when we invoke and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within our heart and soul. This Grace enables us to remain joyful even in the midst of sadness, grief, and even devastation. We can do this because we know and feel the living presence of God in our Spirit and are confident in the knowledge that it is only his joy and love that will remain forever with us. The feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness and grief are temporary and will not last. This joyfulness gives us the courage and strength to always remain faithful, and allows his light to shines forth within us and through us. It is a light always more bright and visible amid the darkness. It is a light that attracts those around us like moths to a flame, hopefully kindling a spark within other hearts and spirits. This joyfulness is the greatest venue for evangelization. It also provides us wonderful opportunities to offer all our suffering up to God in prayer and thanksgiving, because it is redemptive and purifies us.
So, as you start your day, reflect that it is indeed the day the Lord has made, and we should be glad and rejoice in it, and be joyful!