Saturday, February 07, 2009

What's Inside You?

One filled with joy preaches without preaching.
- Blessed Mother Teresa
Some people are seemingly always happy. Like the Psalmist says, "They have heard no evil news." They float, they roll, they fly, they bear it and wear it well in all manner of circumstances. They actually believe Blessed Julian of Norwich's famous phrase "All shall be well, in all manner of things. All shall be well." Please understand, I don't mean a kind of flaky, out of touch, dilusional happy. I mean content, satisfied, fulfilled; actually possessing a deep peace at their center, regardless of the choppy waves on the surface of things. I think the better word here is JOY. Happiness is too often the effect of happenstance, stuff happening to you. "Hey, it's stopped raining!" "Ooo, a quarter!" "I don't have to pay for my parking?" Real Joy flows more from convictions than it does from conditions. That's why when the saints were suffering in such terrible conditions, they could still smile, be at peace, love. They had conviction. Their hearts were not shallow puddles that could tremble at the slightest atmospheric changes, but rather were deep wells of trust in God. So there it is... a goal to shoot for; to place your pursuit of happiness not in feelings but in the freedom of your will. To begin to construct your conviction that all shall be well. To build the well within, and let God fill that well with His Grace. We'll discover that even as bad as things may feel, they can never again rob us of His Joy.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Rom. 8:35-37)
It's been said that if the joy Christians proclaimed with their lips were shining on their faces, there would be no unbelievers. Well, "peace begins with a smile" (Mother Teresa). So let us "rejoice always.... I say it again, rejoice!" (St. Paul) There's a gloomy world out there that needs some serious silliness and "There's no such thing as a sad saint." (St. Theresa of Avila) Thanks to Cecilia for the video below! The ending just about sums it up!
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