Joy in the Lord

As a couple of lone parents settled in to watch their children’s swim lesson through the glass and perhaps catch up on social media, I sat down nearby with one of my four-year-old twins to wait for one brother’s lesson to end and his to begin. “Mommy, what’s that? There’s a white pole near the pool; what’s it for? There’s a basketball in a bucket; why? The big guy’s in the water with the little […]

Waving to a Stranger

Standing in a piazza in Lucca, Italy, dappled sunlight shining down on me, I licked gelato al limone while my husband peeked in storefront windows. Our boys traded licks of their own flavors as they critiqued them with the seriousness of a Food Network expert. I whispered “I’m happy” to no one but me and God, as I often do when the moment comes, to capture it and make it more real. A small bus […]

Joy and Mission

Jesus is not a lone missionary; he does not want to fulfill his mission alone but involves his disciples. In addition to the twelve apostles he calls another seventy-two and sends them to the villages, two by two, to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. This is very beautiful! Jesus does not want to act alone; he came to bring the love of God into the world, and he wants to […]

Feeling the Joy with Jesus

A few years ago, a friend gave me some prints of the Laughing Jesus painting. When I saw it, I immediately started laughing. I wondered what it was about this image that made me laugh. Part of it was that Jesus seemed to have such a joyful countenance that one could really imagine him laughing, and it looked like “contagious laughter”—the kind where it’s impossible to resist joining in. It also made me a tiny […]

Joy in the Neighborhood

People ask me if volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul store is depressing, and I honestly tell them that it is not. There is a joy in this work that defies the reality of the impoverished neighborhood that leans so heavily against the walls of our building. And our customers bring that joy through the door with them when they walk in. Leonard strides into the St. Vincent de Paul store with a hearty […]

The Joy of Christmas

“The most beautiful joy of Christmas is that inner joy of peace: the Lord wiped away my sins, the Lord has forgiven me, the Lord had mercy on me, he came to save me. That is the joy of Christmas,” the pope said. Crux provides this quote from Pope Francis’s general audience on December 14. As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season, let us reflect on the joy of Christmas and resolve to bring […]

Four Ways to Receive Joy

Easter is a 50-day-long season of celebration. As Christians, we often undertake Lenten practices but often do not undertake Easter practices past the first day of Easter. One reason may be that joy, peace, and other consolations are gifts from God. They mostly do not depend on an act of our own will. I often think of joy as the flower that blossoms when the plant of love has been well-tended. How, then, can we […]

Three Key Questions for Discernment

Unfortunately, the video we had featured here is no longer available. Please try these resources on discernment instead: The Ignatian Way #6: What Is Discernment? Discernment in a Nutshell dotMagis posts on Discernment

Living Our Way into Easter Joy

I’m often struck by friends who note how much harder it can be to “feel” Easter than to experience Lent. Somehow the reflection on sin and suffering comes more easily to many than experiencing joy and redemption. However, in this we are not alone: the disciples, too, have difficulty at first absorbing the fullness of Resurrection joy. In many Resurrection scenes, we find Jesus offering reconciliation. In John’s Gospel, Jesus goes to the disciples who […]

Wild Joy

In his Christmas message to the Curia, Pope Francis worried about those who suffer from “la malattia della faccia funerea”—the malady of the funeral face. Symptoms include brusqueness, arrogance, and a “sterile pessimism.” His suggested remedy? A dose of prayerful humor in the form of St. Thomas More’s plea for good digestion and calm life: “Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke […]

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