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Keep the Joy of the Easter Octave Alive!

Keep the Joy of the Easter Octave Alive!

Easter is not just a day, but a season! We’re in the middle of the Easter Octave… on our way to Mercy Sunday!

Turn up the volume on your favorite hymns and rejoice!

Here’s one that moves me!

Or that oldie accapella one I posted from last Sunday, “Be Ye Glad”…

Oh yes, I love the traditional ones, too…

This makes me think… Nothing makes sense unless God wants us in heaven to share his joy.

God created us only so that we could share in His joy. It is were not true God created us so that we could share eternally in His Life, existence would have absolutely no meaning; the world would be absurd. It is only in faith in the intentions of God’s love that the world finds its meaning. There world has no other justification than its having been destined in Christ for divine beatitude. This is the response to all those who would object that “a good God would not have been able to created a world so full of misery and suffering.” St Paul responds that it is through this that God seeks to build — and will irrevocably and ultimately succeed in building — the city of God in which his children will be bathed in the light of the Trinity.

–Jean Daniélou, Prayer: The Mission of the Church.

This makes me think… quotes from St Philip Neri

Short effective prayers of St Philip Neri:

“Jesus, be a Jesus to me.” 

“I cannot love you unless you help me, my Jesus.” 

“My Jesus, if you want me, cut the fetters that keep me from you.”

Good advice from him:

“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.”

For more on St Philip Neri’s life and time, read my archived piece at Patheos, “Saint of Joy: Philip Neri”.

The Pink Candle and other Musings – from my Patheos archives…

To the uninitiated, that pink candle at church makes no sense from a decorating point of view. It throws off the symmetry of the other three purple candles in the Advent wreath. Yet, it immediately draws attention.

A common sight in Advent, the pink or rose candle lit on the Third Sunday is a harbinger, a signpost, a little light that stirs the imagination. Something is a little bit different this week . . .

And what are we paying attention to? A respite from purple candles? Um, in a way, yes. But there is a much bigger picture, a broader context than ambience and church décor. Like so many visuals in the Mass, color is just one of the things that corresponds to the liturgical season, always pointing to a deeper truth.

If the purple candles are to remind us of the penitential and preparatory season of Advent, then the pink or rose candle is there to remind us of the soon coming joy of Christmas and the future joy of Christ’s coming again. Therefore, the object of our love and devotion should animate our penance, prayer, and service.

In years gone by, most Catholics learned that the Third Sunday was commonly called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete was translated from the Latin as “rejoice”! Gaudete Sunday gets it name from the opening antiphon and prayers of the Mass that declare: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (“Gaudete in Domino semper”) (Phil 4:4).

This Third Sunday, the Church is harkening to its good news: the Word is made flesh in Jesus, and the Kingdom of Heaven is born in our midst.

The imagery in Sunday’s First Reading from Isaiah, recorded centuries before the first coming Christ, hints at this coming joy.

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom.

They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God . . .

Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you . . .

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; 
they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee (Is 35:1-2, 4, 10).

As always, there is much to meditate on, but the simple phrase that captures my attention as we come to this Sunday with joy is that once-and-future hope that the prophet gives about one day coming back to our true homeland, “crowned with everlasting glory.”

And I wonder if we could envision ourselves on that special Day, would we live any differently than we do now?

After all, rejoicing, as a verb, means it is something that we do.

Why? Because it is something that we Christians are: Joyful.

Or, are we still works in progress in the joy department?

It is here that the Church is giving hints to what our witness ought to be even within a penitential season. While the ransoming of our lives through Christ takes place long before the crowning occurs, such knowledge is a deep well for joy, hope, and the kind of repentance that leads back to joy.

Joy can be our watchword in this season for it reveals the deepest truth about the deepest reality of Christ’s Coming. But even more profoundly, that he has come and will come for me. And you. This joy is personal as well as corporate.

(Read the rest over at Patheos…)

Among Women 177: Kitty Cleveland’s new Jazz album – Blue Skies

Among Women 177: Kitty Cleveland’s new Jazz album – Blue Skies

This special edition of Among Women features the vocal gifts of Kitty Cleveland. This week I’m privileged to share in celebrating the debut of Kitty’s new jazz album, Blue Skies. This ninth album covers great jazz standards and this show features several tracks from the album as well as Kitty’s commentary.

Kitty Cleveland is a popular Catholic artist and speaker. Many people have been blessed by her singing of the Divine Mercy chaplet as well powerful Catholic hymns and chants. Her life as a singer-songwriter has spanned many styles and genres and taken her many places to sing and share her Catholic faith.

Don’t miss this show celebrating the music and faith of Kitty Cleveland.

Among Women Podcast #153: Joy!

Among Women Podcast #153: Joy!

This week’s episode is a special edition of Among Women, where we depart from our normal format and take time to consider a subject more in depth, with input from our listening audience. In this episode I spend some time sharing on the subject of joy, and how J.O.Y. is an acronym for a Christian life that puts Jesus first, others second, and yourself last. I also share from Psalm 37 and spend a little bit of time unpacking what that psalm means to me.

I’m grateful that several listeners and former guests of Among Women phoned in and wrote to me about the subject of joy, and its a pleasure to add their voices to the podcast. There’s also a giveaway of the new book from Cheryl Dickow and Teresa Tomeo, Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women, and Cheryl Dickow’s novel, Elizabeth. 

This is the last podcast for 2012, and I plan to return the week of January 7, 2013 with a new show.

Listen to the show here.

The F.U.N. Quotient… spontaneous joy!

Assignment Advent: Now, go make somebody happy today! Commit a random act of kindness!

This makes me think… about how full my joy tank is…

Bartimaeus, on regaining his sight from Jesus, joined the crowd of disciples, which must certainly have included others like him, who had been healed by the Master.  New evangelizers are like that: people who have had the experience of being healed by God, through Jesus Christ.  And characteristic of them all is a joyful heart that cries out with the Psalmist: “What marvels the Lord worked for us: indeed we were glad” (Ps 125:3). 

~Benedict XVI, Homily, closing the Synod on the New Evangelization