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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Joyful in the Lord, Who Wants His People to Be Happy
Joyful in the Lord, Who Wants His People to Be Happy PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 26 October 2008 01:56

T he Lord wants his disciples to be happy. We will find happiness when we fall in love with him. The Entrance Antiphon for today's Mass reminds us how to be joyful: Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord Seek the Lord and his strength, seek always the face of the Lord. (1)


When we don't seek the Lord, then we will find real happiness to be unattainable. Sadness springs from egoism, from the pursuit of comfort, from careless neglect in the things of God and of our fellow men . . . In short, it springs from living for ourselves. But the Lord has made us to be happy. He wants us to be even more joyful when we follow his call. As it is written in the book of Joel: Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! . . . Be glad, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He has given the early rain for your vindication, He has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. (2)

 

Joy is indispensable to a Christian's life. When a soul is joyful, it has wings to fly towards God. A happy soul is closer to God and is able to undertake works of service for other people. (3) In contrast, sadness paralyses one's desires for sanctity and apostolate. It is a great evil because it clouds our vision. This is why St. Paul repeats his injunction to the early Christians: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice? Our Christian joy will prove to be a source of strength in time of trial. It will also serve to attract other people to the Faith.

 

Sadness does not come from suffering itself, but from the failure to look upon Jesus. St. Thomas teaches that this infirmity of the soul is a vice provoked by disordered self-love. In addition, it can lead to many other problems. (4) It can be likened to a diseased root which will produce only bitter fruit. Sadness can be the cause of lack of charity, of a reckless love of comfort, of surrender to temptations of the senses. (5)

 

You need a heart that is in love, not an easy life, to achieve happiness? Happiness is the first effect of love. Sadness is the sterile fruit of egoism, laziness and the absence of love. Sadness moves the soul to anger and Jury. Whenever we are sad, we know how easy it is for us to become upset at the slightest provocation. Sadness also inclines us to be suspicious and spiteful. Sometimes it may even lead a person to lose his senses. (6) The sad soul falls into sin without a fight. Such gloominess is a sure road to destruction. As a moth does by a garment, and a worm by the wood, so the sadness of a man consumes the heart. (7)

 

If there should come a time when we experience this sickness of soul, let us examine our conscience with courage. Where have we placed our heart? 'Laetetur cor quaerentium Dominant' - 'Let the hearts of them rejoice who seek the Lord'. There you have light to help you discover the reasons for your sadness. (8)

 

(1) Entrance Antiphon, Ps 104:34

(2) Joel 2:21-23

(3) Phil 4:4

(4) cf St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae, 2-2, q. 28, a. 4

(5) J. Escriva, Furrow, 795

(6) St. Gregory the Great, Morals, 1, 31, 31

(7) Prov 25:20

(8) J. Escriva, The Way, 666

 

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com (info@totusbookstore.com)

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 26 October 2008 01:58
 

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You have to accentuate the positive,eliminate the negative,and latch on to the affirmative.Don't mess with "Mr. In-between".~Louis Armstrong