Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 25

BEADS OF JOY 3-21-12 “Joy - Exciting Daily Thoughts”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 25
My Friends,

Wasn't yesterday’s blog exciting? I hope now, that little by little you are beginning to see how I can stay all wound up like I do all the time, every day. Yes I face challenges, yes I get discouraged, and yes I feel hurt and pain just like everyone else. The difference with all of us is how we deal with it, and embrace that which we have been given by God. I don't see challenges as God punishing me, I don't see it like "woe is me" either. I use to. But understanding what Jesus has done for me has given me a whole new appreciation for my own pains and trials in my life. Today I'd like to reflect on my daily thoughts. What is it that's different about what I think about every day, and what someone who isn't overflowing with joy thinks about? I bet you'll be surprised, maybe even shocked; and then maybe some of you might just say that you understand and that you to think the same as me. No matter how it's understood, please understand now that it's all about Jesus to me in my life. We all have a one way ticket through life. We must help each other along the way, but we can't take away each other’s pain, and we can't prevent or control the outcome of someone’s death. We are individuals in spirit before God at judgment.

This walk, a journey if you will, has many aspects to it. Most of us have families, most of us have jobs, and we all have friends. Entwined in that we all want to incorporate our faith and love for Jesus, and for God. However is it possible when we feel like we are being pulled in every direction all of the time? Great question! Every single day of my life includes thoughts of when I might be with my Lord for all eternity. No it's not a death wish; on the contrary it's a life wish. Today we call it Predestination. I'm really into the definition thing as you have all noticed, so let's see how the word predestination is defined:

Predestination (pre•des•ti•na•tion) 1. The act of predestinating: the state of being predestinated 2. The doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation.

See why I like to fully understand the definitions of a word. Predestination is all about the foreknowledge, we already know the ending. We know Jesus wins this spiritual war on earth. We know that Jesus' death had purpose; we know that God loves us. We know so much about this entire experience of life already that no matter what gets thrown at us, we should be able to handle it. I didn't say we'd get to make the outcome be the way we want it. But by God's grace we will be able to manage our challenges more like Jesus would want us to, that's where Joy comes in again.

On a daily basis, I obviously spend time writing, and planning what I am going to write in each days blog, so those thoughts are always there. But I do far more than that. I think of all the wonderful tools we have that draw us close to our Lord and my heart literally skips a beat, further expanding the depths of my joy. It is so exciting thinking about how I can draw myself and my life even closer to Him. Let's take the bible to start with. That book, those words, the scriptures, the stories, the parables, the people, the miracles, Jesus' words, they all come to life to me in my life. OMG I can go on and on just thinking about how much time I can and I do spend in His word. God has given us a most precious part of His love in His word. Then think about the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has instilled in each of us. A piece of God through the power of the Holy Spirit indwells in us. And that part of us helps us stay even closer to Him. It's the greatest co-pilot anyone could ever wish they had in their lives. See how Joy comes to life for me. I pray that these blogs spark an overwhelming excitement inside your soul and heart, that you can't even contain it.

See what I am talking about everybody. Now you can see how I think about the bible and how much excitement and joy is jam packed in that wonderful book. See now you can learn of other books that generate similar joy in my life. I have a sort of mini library for personal reflection and spiritual growth that I use to guide me along the way, and help me with my research. Here they are: Catechism of the Catholic Church, St Jerome Commentary, Catch me a rainbow Too (OFS), My Daily Bread, Preparation for Death, Devotion to Mary, Teachings of the Catholic Church Volumes I&II, and so many others. I try to keep my life rich in learning as much as I can about my Lord, my relationship to Him, and His relationship to us; and the more I keep learning the more exciting my life really is. We will continue tomorrow as we further reflect on this Joy inside my heart that I want you to experience, by learning how I keep His image in my mind and heart throughout the day.

Today's Challenge: Find new and creative ways you can make your life an instrument in sharing Jesus with others. Don't be afraid that your joy may overwhelm others; it's funny when I watch people react. If you can, share Jesus with excitement and love.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS