As I've remarked before, happiness + peace = joy, it's easy to understand this formula. Happiness comes from the enjoyment of God's creation. Peace comes from being close to God. Joy is not the normal state of humankind, although we can certainly seek happiness from God's creation (although we tend to mess it up), our sinful nature keeps us from peace, so it's hard for us to get to joy. I find it easiest to overcome myself and enter into joy by keeping the moment I am having right now in front of me and thanking God for it.
I encountered joy in the parking lot of Saint Margaret Mary Thursday after Mass. I was running through the snow with Marilou and her daughters. I'm sure some might call my childlike behavior 'undignified' or 'immature', but I know joy when I encounter it. Do not be afraid to love the life that is right in front of you, right now.
I took no pictures ... who knew it was possible. We had Rich, me, Joe, Sarah, Patrick, Jen, Marilou, Rebecca, Morgan, and Chad there, I'm going to throw in Ronny just for good measure, 'cause she says she wants to go, and she was there. I'll be compiling all of the photos from this mini-tour here.
"Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
The Old Testament is full of crotchety, sinful men who crankily get to do God's will in a roundabout way, or only after repenting from their sins. Mary, in contrast, is none of that, merely saying yes. Mary is the example, for every generation, of how to respond to God's call. Without regard for our own desires and without regard for what others may think, but only trusting in God. Our reward is not here, but it is in Heaven and being with God forever, where our joy will know no end.
Sat, Dec 11 @ 11:00am - Dowd Memorial Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Boys Town