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A Devotional: Celebrate the Joy

April 17, AD2017

“Happy is he who does not have sadness in his mind, and who has not fallen away from his hope.” -Sirach 14:2

Finding Hope in Christ

Lent is a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving toward others. It is a time of sacrifice and charity. It is a time of getting to know Jesus even better than we currently know him. No matter where we are along the path of life, we can strive for a closer friendship with the Lord. The perception of Lent may seem downcast. However, Lent is a time of anticipation and obedience that leads to an even greater path. The path it leads to is the light of Christ and His Resurrection from the dead.  We celebrate this mystery every year, but it remains a truly awesome fact in our lives and in all of history. God has wonderful things in store for us as we follow Jesus!

Sirach 14:2 says a lot if we take the time to ponder what it really means. Suffering and sadness is a part of life for all people. We can overcome this sadness through the hope of Jesus!  Knowing this fact in our hearts will give us the strength to truly see the good even in difficult and situations. Our minds are quite powerful, and God can speak to us in our thoughts.  We must be alert to his voice when we ponder in this way. When we pray to the Holy Spirit and see the spark of his light, we can be happy in all circumstances. We have great reason to be happy and positive every single day of our lives!

Joy

The words rejoice and joy are seen in Holy Scripture various times both in the New and Old Testaments. In spite of all the difficulties biblical characters had to deal with, their stories also offer all of us hope and happiness. We can rejoice always through Lent and into Easter and beyond! Smiling and love are not forbidden in Lent. Our sacrifice and love speak outwardly to a suffering world in need of the light of Jesus Christ and His Church. Let us live in this happiness today. We have much to be grateful for, and the best is yet to come as we walk along the path with God. We can look to the example of the saints of the Church, to Christ, his Holy Mother, and St. Joseph our protector.

A Prayer

Lord Jesus, help us to see the good in our lives and reflect it to all we meet. Help us to minister to others the hope and joy of living a life with you. For we know this path will lead to life eternal both now and forever in Heaven. Amen.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Anne DeSantis is a wife and mother, 50+model/actor from the Greater Philadelphia area. She has been writing with The Catholic Stand since 2014. She homeschooled her two daughters all through school, and embarked on a career in modeling, acting, and writing in recent years. She is a 2012 graduate of "The Church Ministry Institute" within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She treasures her Catholic faith and enjoys spreading God's love through her writings with this publication. She also writes articles for CatholicMom.com. Her daughter Alaine DeSantis is a writer with The Catholic Stand.

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  • Mark McCann

    The prayer at the end was my favorite part. I tend to be a grouchy Lent kinda guy! I forget that I’ve been called to be broken bread and poured out wine for others – that my suffering has a purpose in God’s plan and that in all things I can have joy! Thank you for the beautiful reminder! (){:o)