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How are you feeling today? Happy, sad, tired, somewhere in between? As Christians, one of the most attractive parts of our faith is the fruit of the Holy Spirit called joy. Joy comes from God, flowing from our relationship of love, of a personal relationship between the living God and us. Emotions are something different and are neither positive nor negative. Joyfulness can always remain and lead us to remember the God we have who loves us, died for us, and wants nothing more than for us to live forever in heaven with Him. Our memory helps us be joyful: have you ever taken the time to count your blessings? Joy and thankfulness go together. If you are reading this: you live in America, a country where there is a superabundance of food, we can practice our faith freely, we can speak freely, we can be educated easily, we have democracy, among many other liberties and rights others do not enjoy elsewhere in the world. I haven’t even mentioned all the amazing gifts and talents God specifically blessed you with! There are so many! Joy is saying thank you to God, over and over, because despite everything: He remains faithful! Faith, hope, and love are greatest gifts God gives us, and we receive them freely at Baptism: truly the best things in life are free!

Joy can remain even in suffering. While we are in this Lenten pilgrimage, your day to day life might seem a little more somber or down, yet the way Lent is headed is the eternal joyfulness of Easter. Joy remains despite sin and death that can weigh us down, because we know the end of the story: Jesus wins, every time. The joy of Easter carries us through this Lenten pilgrimage and opens our hearts to sing Alleluia with a renewed spirit. God is truly the all-powerful Father who wants the best for His beloved children.

Why do I talk about joy? Joy is the solution to the often negative culture we are living in. People don’t stop to be thankful for the many things I listed above. They don’t remember God’s faithfulness. They don’t realize all their blessings! When we stop and reflect on our lives, we realize how much we have truly been gifted with. Living a joyful life can help us discern the priesthood because when our relationship with God is where God wills it, we see God as a Father and give him time to mold his love within our (sometimes) stony hearts. This time we give God leads us to convince us more and more that He is everything we are looking for in life, and the effect of this is great joy! Even in the crosses, Jesus is there and is only a simple prayer away! When we live a joyful life, we are willing to go where God wants us, because He is the source of what our hearts are made for. We realize too that this is only a taste of heaven, where God wills all His children to be reunited with Him one day!

Enjoy this quote from Blessed Pier Giorgio: someone I recommend you get to know!

“You ask me whether I am in good spirits. How could I not be, so long as my trust in God gives me strength. We must always be joyful. Sadness should be banished from all Christian souls. For suffering is a far different thing from sadness, which is the worst disease of all. It is almost always caused by lack of Faith. But the purpose for which we have been created shows us the path along which we should go, perhaps strewn with many thorns, but not a sad path. Even in the midst of intense suffering it is one of joy.”

Peter Gallagher

Peter Gallagher

3rd Theology
Peter Gallagher attends The Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy.
Peter Gallagher

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