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Showing posts from December, 2011

Joy

What is joy? As I have been pondering and meditating on this word, another word has come to mind: Peace. Joy and Peace walk hand in hand. They are not the same, but they both are more complete with the other.
But what is joy? Joy is more than just a smile, a laugh, a grin. Joy is something deep within that bubbles out. it bubbles into a smile, but it also bubbles into our lives.
Scripture talks a lot about joy and it's side effects. It's good medicine, the appropriate response to the presence of God in the Ark of the Covenant, and to his miraculous conception and birth. Paul tells us to rejoice always and not be anxious or dismayed. Joy is a lifestyle, a grace.
Danielle Rose's song "The Joy of the Lord" has been played many, many times in the past few weeks as I have meditated on joy, and parts of the lyrics are posted below.
"God loves a cheerful giver."
"Never let anyone come to you without leaving better and happier. Everyone should see goodness i…

True Humanity

At the Christmas Eve mass this year, one of our seminarians (one studying toward the priesthood) did the homily (sermon), and he reminded me of something I hadn't thought of in a while.
Christ did not just come to earth to experience our humanity. He didn't come just to restore our humanity. He came to show us our humanity. Humanity, as originally intended, did not look as we see it now. It was "very good" (Unless, of course, we believe that God was mistaken in Genesis.). When sin entered the world, we became a little less good.
However, with the coming of Christ, with the giving of his life and Spirit, we are able to again strive toward that "Very Good." We begin to be called again to a higher standard of living, to model the behavior of Christ and those he called to follow him.
Christ came, as a humble baby. But he didn't stay a baby. He grew up, became a boy who discussed matters with the priests. He became a man who taught, healed, and challenged pe…

Gaudete

I will be the first to admit that I despise the holiday season. As in, seriously, I dread the holiday season. Not only do most of my friends disperse to various parts of the world leaving campus and Longview feeling like a ghost town, I also hate the hullabaloo that goes into preparing for Christmas. Yeah, I appreciate the decorations when they are up, but I hate finding them, putting them up, taking them down, and putting them away. I despise how our culture has gone so far into politically correct, but I almost hate the whole "CHRISTmas" thing just as much because it simply becomes a fight. We have turned Saint Nicolas, the Bishop who gave to the poor, into Santa Clause who goes around riding a sleigh and eating cookies. We spend all of Christmas worrying about who is getting what for whom for Christmas and trying to beat the crowds. And heaven forbid that we not have a huge feast to celebrate with! Even the Christmas story has become so romanticized that is hardly resembl…