I’m Choosing Joy!

Photo from http://www.strengthenmyheart.com

Happy Third Sunday of Advent. Today is Gaudete Sunday which means rejoice! Besides lighting the rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath, we celebrate that our hopeful anticipation for the coming of Christ at Christmas is almost over. This beautiful liturgical color signifies joy. 

Color is a powerful tool, evoking certain emotions.  For me, rose is a happy and pretty color and prompts me to feel calm – joyous, especially during this busy time of year when I put undue pressure on myself.  It has been an especially tough year with my husband’s fragile health condition on top of living through my first pandemic.  Choosing simplicity and connection facilitates my joy which includes taking care of my body, mind, and soul.  When I get stressed out it is hard for me to acknowledge my limitations and surrender to my savior.   It helps to get back to the basics like offering my mind, my mouth, and heart to God as I wake up in the morning asking the Spirit to use me and drive my agenda to accomplish His will. 

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Focus on His truth, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I think a lot of us are struggling to find joy in our hearts right now.  Dreaming and joy are intrinsically linked It weighs on us to dream since we do not know when all the heaviness of this year will end.  It was interesting to read this woman’s perspective on how hope can be tangled up in expectant joy, and yet somehow manage to prod at sorrow and those parts of ourselves where we dare not dream for fear of disappointment. 

Do you need encouragement to live joy right now? If so, check out this free mini retreat to ignite hope in your heart.  I’ve been inspired when I can fit the video’s into my day.

Fr. Jacques Philippe, from his teachings on Interior Freedom, says “The most important and most fruitful acts of our freedom are not those by which we transform the outside world as those by which we change our inner attitude in light of the faith that God can bring good out of everything without exception. He is a never-failing source of unlimited riches. Our lives no longer have in them anything negative, ordinary, or indifferent. Positive things become a reason for gratitude and joy, negative things an opportunity for abandonment, faith, and offering everything becomes a grace.”  It took me a long while, but I think I am understanding what he is talking about. 

God comes every day to visit His people, to visit every man and woman who receives Him in the Word, in the Sacraments, in their brothers and sisters Pope Francis says.  Jesus, the Bible tells us, is at the door and knocks… Do you know how to listen to the Lord who knocks, who has come today to visit you, who knocks at your heart restlessly, with an idea, with inspiration?… Be careful, look at what you feel in your heart when the Lord knocks.”

What is tugging at your heart as we wait in anticipation for Christmas? 

The need for rejoicing is stirring in mine. I choose joy and to be Smitten with Goodness,

Cynthia

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