Part 3:

Part 3:

Aspects of Our Christian Joy

 

 

 

JOY

 

A Fruit of the Holy Spirit

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)

 

 

God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ

and

Our Lady of Emmitsburg

speak on

"Joy"

 

"We are writing this so that our joy may be complete."

(1Jn 1:4)

 

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

 

"The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,  generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, modesty, chastity and self-control."

(Gal 5:22-23)

 

 

 

Joy, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, when listed in St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, is listed 2nd only to love.  When as human beings we experience God's Love and it begins to take root in our interior being, the natural outflow is joy.  It is that same joy then that can, through the interior workings of the Holy Spirit, attract others to God's Love.

 

In this compilation on "JOY" we hope to draw from this vast heavenly grace to the world in a way that brings each of us closer to God--His Love and His Joy!

 

Part 1: 

  The Joy of God the Father

  The Joy of Jesus

  The Joy of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  The Joy of Our Lady in the Holy Spirit

 

Part 2: 

  The Joy of My Divine Providence

  The Joy of My Light and in My Truth

  The Joy of the Cross

 

Part 3: 

  The Aspects of Our Christian Joy

 

Part 4: 

  The Fruits of Christian Joy

 

 

Joy--Part 3

 

Aspects of Our Christian Joy

 

Introduction

"The joyfulness of the heart is the life of a man,

and a never failing treasure of holiness." 

(Ecclesiasticus 30:23)

 

Pope Paul VI writes in his exhortation, Gaudete in Domino, "Joy is the result of human-divine communion, and aspires to a communion ever more universal.  In no way can it encourage the person who enjoys it to have an attitude of preoccupation with ‘self.’  Joy gives the heart a catholic openness to the world, at the same time that it wounds the heart with a longing for eternal bliss….It is peacefully stretched between the moment of earthly toil and the peace of the eternal dwelling, in conformity with the Spirit's force of attraction.”  (Gaudete in Domino, on Christian Joy, Pope Paul VI, May 9, 1975)

 

As "Christian Joy" was defined in the Opening Remarks, as a "fruit" of the Holy Spirit, it involves actions.  Thus, many of its attributes reflect activity:  praise, prayer, receiving God's grace, and the humble pursuit of a clean conscience are some of the attributes about which Our Lord and Our Lady of Emmitsburg teach us.  These, however, are contrasted to the effects that fear and evil have which bring about the lack or loss of Christian Joy.

 

Praise

"Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;

cry out to the rock of our salvation.

Let us greet Him with a song of praise,

joyfully sing out our psalms."

(Ps 95:1)

 

It seems that our natural and human inclination is to try to avoid the trials of this world and run ahead of God.  Certainly the joy and peace of another and future time seem much more attractive than the present moment for most people.  However, Our Lord in His Lessons cautions that it is "not yet the time":

 

“Do not ask what is pleasing or desirable to you, but what garment of praise and honor it is for Me….Pray that whatever your wish is, God will be glorified in you….You desire to abound in joy and peace, but this is not yet the time.  This time is one of inner wars and trials.”   (JOM, Vol III, #22, Mar. 2, 1991)

 

And it also seems that many faithful Christians, even the so-called "prayer warriors," are quite attentive to prayers of petition, reparation, and even thanksgiving, but often fall short when it comes to praising God Our Father.  It is to this form of prayer that Our Lady of Emmitsburg invites all her children:

 

“In all that you do, give everything to God.  Praise Him every day.  Sing songs of joy to Him everyday.  You may feel strange in doing this, but God desires to hear your love and songs of joy.  I am speaking of God the Father.  He desires you, so praise Him.”   (Private OLOE, Dec. 18, 2005)

 

“How wonderful it is to be around children who love me with pure hearts and whose prayers are so innocent!  Then I can take them and present them to God the Father…..How loving a Father we have, and how welcomed everyone is to give Him the praise and the glory!  I desire to share with you my Joy of being able to call each of you ‘my child’, and being able to be called 'your Mother’.  (Private OLOE, Sept. 8, 2006)

 

"Splendor and majesty go before Him;

praise and joy are in His holy place."

(1Chr 16:27)

 

Prayer

"He that adores God with joy shall be accepted,

and his prayer shall approach even to the clouds."

(Ecclesiasticus 35:20)

 

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with Him." (CCC 2565)  Two of our human commodities, which we far too often find hard to share with God in this communion with Him, are our time and our silence.  Our Lord in His Lessons teaches us of the importance of both:

 

“I just want My people to spend time with Me, to be with Me, to share with Me all their concerns, joys, sorrows and challenges. I desire to be asked for guidance.  I desire to be their closest friend.  It is through the grace of prayer from My Father that this is possible.  Prayer is the vessel through which love is purified and perfected.  It is the tool of intimacy….Pondering My Love and My Life will give rise to joy in the soul. Take time to listen to My silence….”   (JOM, Vol V, #7, Mar. 6, 1995)

 

"It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord." 

(Lam 3:26)

 

“How I desire to fill My people with fond joy in their hearts through silence….I want to speak to My people and fill them with all they desire: the freedom, the peace, the joy, wisdom and happiness of the heart; but they deny themselves and Me by not adhering to My request to pray within the silence of the heart….Simplicity of life and My Will for you reside in the silence of your heart.  Seek Me there, and you shall find Me and your joy.”  (JOM, Vol V, #17, Sept. 10, 1995)

 

St. Paul to the Romans:

"I urge you…to join me in the struggle

by your prayers to God on my behalf…

so that I may come to you with joy by the will of God

and be refreshed together with you."

(Rom 15:30-32)

 

As she further expands her teaching on the relationship between prayer and Joy, Our Lady of Emmitsburg addresses the aspects of community prayer, prayer for the souls in purgatory, prayer in union with the Divine Will, the rewards of our prayer and the value of our obedience:

 

“Little children, prayer is the artery for bringing aid to your problems and peace to your life….Jesus overcame death so you could have life.  His was a message of Peace….Total surrender leads to total joy.  Trust Jesus in every facet of life….Spend time in prayer.  Tomorrow will come soon enough.   Spend today in the Peace of my Son; and through the fruits of prayer, you will address your problems.” (Public OLOE, Sept. 2, 1999)

 

“My Son desires your lives to be an echo of happiness, filled with the vision of peace, serenity and harmony.  He desires each soul to ascend in the fullness of his Joy and Wisdom….If you are One with God, you should join together in unity and pray together as a community, not simply for one person, but for everyone….This bond of unity will declare you true children of God.  Those who pray together will live together in eternity.”  (Public OLOE, June 22, 2000)

 

“He then took up a collection among his soldiers….

which he sent to Jerusalem to provide an expiatory sacrifice….

for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again,

it would have been useless and foolish

to pray for them in death….

Thus, he made atonement for the dead

that they might be freed from this sin.”

(2Mac 12: 43-48)

 

“Pray!  The Lord loves to hear your prayers of supplication for the souls in purgatory.  He loves to hear your songs of praise.  Pray!  Do not worry about what is happening now.  Pray joyfully with all your hearts.  Even though you are in the midst of sorrow and tribulation, pray!  It will turn around.  You will see.  It will change....You are surrounded by the peace and the joy of the angels, whether you feel it or not, as long as you pray! “ (Private OLOE, July 27, 2004)  “How important it is to pray, no matter where you are, and no matter what you do in your lives, because there are so many people who do not.  Because of this, tremendous confusion and division result.  Pride becomes the source of all evil and replaces the joy of humility….This is a great grace in itself, the gift of prayer; but you must use the gift to receive all the good things and to be protected from all sources of evil.”  (Private OLOE, Dec. 23, 2004)

 

"I will rejoice and be glad of your kindness,

when you have seen my affliction

and watched over me in my distress."

(Ps 31:8)

 

“Everything you ask will come to fruition.  That is because when you pray, you pray that the Father’s Will be done….Know that you are not alone and that your prayers do not go unanswered.  This pleases Him.  This is what holy indifference entails:  patience, Divine Providence, submission, peacefulness, and a deeply embedded joy that God is your Creator; and that above all things, and above all people, He is the final Judge.”  (Private OLOE, May 10, 2007)

 

“The more you talk to Him, the more He will give you—great gifts, not gifts of this world, but gifts as you grow older you will need, like knowledge and wisdom, patience and perseverance, strength and courage, abandonment and acceptance, great joy and humility, and everlasting peace.”  (Private OLOE, April 18, 2009

 

“It is important, children, that you do not allow yourselves to be upset by the burdens of life.  My Son will free you, if you give your lives to Him openly and freely to do with you as He desires.  He wants all of you.  Do whatever He tells you to do.  This is where your joy and peace lie.”  (Public OLOE, Aug. 31, 2000)

 

"Until now you have not asked anything in My Name;

ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."

(Jn 16:24)

 

Grace

"Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you….

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. 

Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."

(Lk 1:28,35)

 

Then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, our recently retired Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "…Joy is a sign of the Holy Spirit's presence and thus of grace: where joy and humor are lacking, the Spirit cannot be present.  A person who is profoundly serene, who has suffered without losing joy, cannot be far from the God of the Gospel, from the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of eternal Joy…."  (Der Gott Jesus Christi, Ratzinger,  pl 1898)

 

The young Mary of Nazareth, the daughter of Anne and Joachim, was most likely serene and had lived a difficult life, but she had not lost her joy as she was so close to God.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg shares more on the grace of God and her own joy:

 

“I am the Mother of God.  I am full of grace.  Ponder my words, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.’  The Divine favor is His grace.  God desires to fill you, little children with His grace.  Without the grace of my Son, your works would be fruitless.  Grace strengthens your faith, which is your salvation. Salvation does not stem from your own works, but through the immeasurable richness of His grace.  Grace gives joy….You are who you are through the grace of God….Nourish His grace so that it will produce fruits.”  (Public OLOE, Sep. 12, 1996)

 

“There are great works for you to do, so I bless you with the seal of protection and the seal of grace from my Son, Who has allowed me to dispense tremendous graces.  The more you ask, the more I am able to give.  The more you surrender, the more you will be able to receive.  The more you receive, the more you will desire.  The more you desire, the more you will ask.  God graces all of humanity.  God invites all of humanity to works of joy and works of peace.  There are only few who  respond out of fear, not only of fear, but because of self-seeking ways and personal desires.  God must be first, God must be the ‘only’. When my Son is at the core of the hearts of humanity, then the desires of humanity can only be fulfilled in the glory and in the Truth of what God created humanity to be.”  (Private OLOE Set. 14, 2003)

 

"For by grace you have been saved through faith,

and this is not from you; it is the gift of God."

(Eph 2:8)

 

“You are given the gift and grace in mind, body and soul, as to how to proceed in God’s Light to make things new.  With that grace God gives you the freedom and the flexibility to be children of Light—jovial, free-hearted, and yet piercing with knowledge and wisdom.  For those who are like little children come before God, and the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them….I know the sorrows of your life; I know the joys of your life.  And I know in your one life, how you will succumb to all of those sorrows and surpass all of your joys, and be in the bliss of Heaven.”  (Private OLOE, Nov. 13, 2007)

 

“God has granted you a great favor.  He has allowed you to be enlightened in the areas that you need to change….I desire and wish so many people could come to terms with themselves, accept it and rally to the forefront to see the difference.  Self-pity is removed, and joy is instilled within the weaknesses of the body.  Then God Himself will grant you more graces, more abundantly than you have ever known before.”  (Private OLOE, Aug. 31, 2009)

 

Paul's farewell speech:

"Yet I consider life of no importance to me,

if only I may finish my course

and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,

to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace."

(Acts 20:24)

 

Fear

Jesus to the disciples:

"Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid!"

(Mt 14:27)

 

“Fear” in the most general term as used in the English vernacular, and so often in the multitude of mystical gifts from God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Emmitsburg, most often implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.  The moral evaluation of anxiety begins with the exercise of prudence, to discover if there are valid grounds for the apprehension.  If there are not, to act on the anxiety or fail to act because of it would be a lack of trusting God’s Providence.  Both this lack of courage and failure to trust in God's Providence then serve as large obstacles in receiving the joy, the freedom, the grace, and the peace that Our Lord in His Lessons  to the world describes:

 

“The time will come when My people will know the truth is that they are powerless without Me…They themselves are completely helpless by their own merits.  They will realize that by surrendering and allowing Me to care for them as their spouse, that their fear, turmoil and suffering will end in true peace and joy and total happiness."  (JOM, Vol IV, #16, Mar. 21, 1992)

 

In order for all to be free and grow in humility and to experience the joy of their being in My Love, all must look at their inner state, praying for My grace to address their needs spiritually, physically and emotionally.  Nothing is lost except fear.  Fear would like to control you and deceive you to think that if you face it, you would lose self-dignity, respect, love of self, and become mindless.  The reality is that when you face fear, it is fear that dissipates.  Call your fear. Name your fears, and tame your fears in My Love through gentleness and kindness, and most importantly, through love of yourself.  Your energy will then be rerouted anew to a colorful force of joy and happiness within your true self in My Love.”  (JOM, Vol IV, #52, Aug. 7, 1992)

 

“Always take time for Me to rest in you….Allow Me to be the catalyst in developing your relationship with yourself and with Me.  I will not withhold My graces from you.  There is a life beyond a life of fear.  That life is life now, living in joy and acceptance in Me….Peace lies within.  That which is external draws its existence from that which is internal. Peace can live externally once it exists internally.  Peace lies within!  I am within!(JOM, Vol IV, #81, Aug. 16, 1992)

 

"May the God of hope fill you

with all joy and peace in believing,

so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (Rom 15:13)

 

It is difficult enough to not be afraid, even when we have been graced with the gift of faith.  Can you imagine how you could face your own personal problems and trials, as well as those so apparent in the world and those which have been prophesied, without that gift of faith?  Our Lady of Emmitsburg explains how, through hope and love and the Spirit of God, we can experience a new birth, protected from all fear and filled with joy:

 

“Do not fear, but rejoice and have hope.  God does exist….He will never abandon you….Never grow weary of praising God and showing Him your gratitude.  You will receive great joy and consolation in spirit; and in the process you will prepare yourselves to receive additional graces from Him.”  (Public OLOE, June 5, 1997)  All that matters is how you love and the virtues you utilize to grow in His Love.  This is how you enrapture souls for God’s Kingdom of Joy.”  (Public OLOE, Feb. 6, 1997)

 

“Do not fear or be concerned about any of the elements in your lives.  There are times when things can become so troublesome to you and so complicated that often it is good just to rest, rest in the Lord.  The Holy Spirit will take care of you and guide you.  God Himself will protect you.  All will happen according to God’s Plan.  Do your best, and praise God!  This is where your joy lies, that is when you are able to contemplate and allow your heart to rise and meet and embrace the Love of God, experiencing an overwhelming flood of grace and Love.”  (Private OLOE, Jan. 25, 2006) 

 

“Jesus wants you to live your lives with so much joy, as with a new birth.  With this blessing, receive the graces from Him to live in His Most Sacred Heart, protected from all fear and in the joy of living for Him, solely for Him.  You can only change yourself.  You cannot change others.”  (Private OLOE, Mar. 15, 2006)

 

"I have trusted in the Eternal God for your welfare,

and joy has come to me from the Holy One

because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you from your eternal Savior."

(Bar 4:22)

 

 

Evil and the Lack of Joy

"Since you would not serve the Lord, your God,

with joy and gratitude for abundance of every kind,

therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and utter poverty,

you will serve the enemies whom the Lord will send against you." 

(Deut 28:47)

 

There is a politically powerful atheist movement in much of the world; and this, combined with the practical atheism in so many of the world's indifferent souls, have allowed many in the world and even within the Church to be lulled to sleep and to even downplay or deny the existence of eternal damnation and hell.  Truly, this deception would undermine any and all Christian Joy. Our Lady of Emmitsburg firmly reassures her children in the truth of this matter:

 

"I am on Satan's turf, and I shall be victorious in crushing his head. (Private OLOE, Jan. 30, 2004)  

 

"Hell does exist!   Everyone needs to know that the devil is trying to tempt, to distract, to confuse and to destroy anything that is good….I want all the children of the world to know that this is not a game.  How real this scenario now is!"   (Private OLOE, Oct 12, 2005)

 

Our Lord in His Lessons discusses the ways in which evil has interfered with His Plan, even among the faithful, but He reassures each of us that evil is overcome in the grace of His Love:

 

“Very few of My people have confidence in their love of themselves because they do not have full confidence in Me.  If they did, the way of your world would be a way of love of one another and of peace and of joy, not a world that seeks joy through success, monetary value and power!  My people trust in the things that limit the depth of their happiness over the eternal heavenly things that are very real and long-lasting.”  (JOM, Vol IV, #47, Aug. 2, 1992)

 

“Even My many who love My Father and are committed to following the rules of the Church, follow them centered around their own life and spiritual journey, which must be filled with consolation and the fullness of joy." (JOM, Vol III, #20, Dec. 26, 1990)

 

“If only love existed, joy would sustain the world; but there also exists evil, and much pain and sorrow have surfaced.  My Peace is for all who experience love, joy, and pain or sorrow.  My Peace can exist in all situations and circumstances.  My Peace is unending, and it is abiding in the grace of My Love.”  (JOM, Vol V, #22, Oct. 5, 1995)

 

"Deceit is in the hands of those who plot evil,

but those who counsel peace have joy."

(Prov 12:20)

 

For much of the 20th century, a little Albanian nun lived and worked with almost every type of person that humanity can produce, from the most wealthy and elite to the poorest of the poor.  She learned much about human nature with all its strengths and its flaws.  Her words both describe and provide a plan to deal with all we meet:

 

“People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.  Love them anyway.

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.  Do good anyway. 

If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.  Succeed anyway. 

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway. 

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.  Be honest and transparent anyway. 

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.  Build anyway. 

People who really want help may attack you if you help them.  Help them anyway. 

Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. 

Give the world your best anyway.”  (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997)

 

On the world stage, Mother Teresa displayed much of what God is asking of all of us in our private and personal lives and what Our Lady of Emmitsburg so aptly describes, as we too deal with the wounded, the selfish, those lacking love and joy, those whose lives are so empty, those who have been overcome by evil spirits.  Our Lady then invites us to assume the responsibility of being for them the Light and ambassadors of God’s Love:

 

 “If you walk among those in the world, pay attention and you will see so many people preoccupied with walking, either as an athletic endeavor or for some other reason.  However, there are few of them walking who realize that they are preoccupied only with their own little world.  Truly, they are filled with a tremendous void, and in that void they are lacking Love.  They think they know and have everything so as to be amongst an elite group, but the void is empty.  It is a big void, a big emptiness, emptiness of their own self, their own joy and their own peace.  They lack self-sufficiency, perseverance and discernment.”  (Private OLOE, Dec. 22, 2005)

 

“There are so many people in the world whose hearts are in pain.  They are wounded indeed.  They live only to exist.  Their lives are not filled with the Joy and Hope of God.  Day by day they simply exist, wondering what God has planned for them or what the day will bring.  For them, you have been invited.  This is why I have oftentimes spoken to you and encouraged you, so that you could be for them the Light and the ambassadors of God’s Love.”  (Private OLOE, Feb. 25, 2010)

 

“Those who are immune to the effects of sorrow in other people’s lives or even take joy in them, are grasped by evil and their own selfish ways.” (Private OLOE, Feb. 1, 2009)  “Any opportunity that the devil wishes to take to impose himself upon you, He will do it in your weakest moments.  You must be prepared not to allow that.  Yes, you can grieve and you can sing and dance, you can be happy and you can be sorrowful, you can be joyful and you can cry; but never allow the chamber of your heart where your treasure lies to be open to any spirit that would drive away your peace.”  (Private OLOE, Jan. 1, 2010)

 

“There is so much happening in this world.  I desire you to pray for many, many people.  Pray for their circumstances, their lack of joy, their sorrow, their challenges, and their invitation for a new beginning.”  (Private OLOE. Jan. 5, 2005)

 

"And the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, 

'Lord, the devils also are subject to us in Thy Name.'" 

(Lk 19:17)

 

Joy and Clean Conscience

"To the clean, all things are clean;

but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is clean;

in fact, both their minds and their consciences are tainted."

(Tit 1:15)

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “conscience as man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary….There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”  (Gaudium et Spes, 16)….Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act….A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience….Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt….The Word of God is a Light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.”  (CCC, 1795-1802)

 

Our Lord in His Lessons to the world discusses the value of a clean conscience for each of us and the value of both simplicity and our own purification as we are transformed and transfigured into His likeness on our journey through life to Life:

 

“Walking with Me interiorly and refusing comfort from man, without seeking consolation or affection, is a state of an interior confidence and purity….Keep a good conscience.  Clean yourself before the temple, and you shall have joy.  Remember, the wicked cannot have joy or peace because there is no joy or peace in the wickedness of evil….True peace and joy can only be sustained in Me; and I rest in the humble, pure and clean hearts.  A clean conscience is one which examines itself continuously to wash, to sift and to rinse and clean for a resting place for its Master….”  (JOM, Vol IV, #21, June 28, 1992)

 

St. Paul to the Corinthians:

“But I fear, lest by any means,

as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness,

your minds should be corrupted

from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ.”

(2Cor 11:2-4)

 

“If your intention is to be good and pure, it must be simple….Taking care of all the little things of the world in an intention of simplicity ascends your soul in a transformation of God’s goodness….

 

“…As I purify you and make you clean, you may suffer the markings of pain from worldly attachments.  Those, who persevere and remain persistent in prayer, saturated in faith, move from apathy to courage and are transfigured in the likeness of purity and joy.  Life then becomes Life!” (JOM, Vol IV, #51, Aug. 6, 1992)

 

"You have made known to me the paths of Life;

You will fill me with joy in Your Presence."

(Acts 2:28)

 

 

 

Joy

End of Part 3