Friday, March 23, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 27

BEADS OF JOY 3-23-12 “Joy - You Too Can Have Some”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 27
My Friends,

Well here we are in the final day and thoughts about Joy for now. Today I hope that I can lead you to some ideas and activities that help spark a new era in your own life spiritually. This is a time for you to experience so much Joy that you can't contain it anymore and all you want to do is share it with others. Just as a side note, remember that just because you are sharing all your Joy with everyone around you, no matter how much you give away, you will never run out. When we are blessed with Joy by God, God sends us a never ending flow of His love, without ever ceasing. For starters I want to say that we need to build our day around Jesus, instead of trying to squeeze Him in somewhere so we can say we "prayed" today. You can make all the money your heart desires, live in the largest most expensive home, drive the newest vehicles, but in the end without Jesus, none of that means anything at all. Now on the other hand, if you have all those things and you have Jesus in your life, then you will be led by God's Holy Spirit to use those blessings to bless others by being a reflection of Jesus through those things.

I like to begin each day with an immediate thought of my Lord, thanking Him for allowing me another day to be with my family and another day to serve Him. I think of that even before I get out of bed. I don't fully recall when and where all that started, but I always think that as I awake. I sort of have a similar approach to going to sleep. For starters I go to sleep when I am sleepy, I never try to force sleep, I tend to inevitable just get out of bed when I do. When I go to sleep, I get into that comfortable position, you know what I mean, the pillow is just right, the covers are perfect, the lighting is dim and the breeze of the fan is perfect, LOL. OK you get the idea. Well as I begin to go to sleep, I close my eyes and look around inside my eye-lids.. Stop laughing LOL. And as I do I ask Jesus to take me on another fantastic journey of dreams in my sleep. Weird I know?? But I like it, I fall asleep fast, many times I see a door open with light, or a window glaring light through it, I basically look for the light in the darkness of my eye-lids. I always find it, and then I move towards it. I figure if I die in my sleep, it must be something like that. It's a cool way to go to sleep.

See how interesting it can be when I bring you into my inner circle of Joy. LOL. You never know what you'll learn about me. Well let's continue thinking about what else can be done so that you to be strange, goofy and overly excited as I am in this life. LOL. You may have heard this, spend time in front of the cross, looking at Jesus hanging there on it. The crucified Jesus is a powerful image when you really understand that Jesus is God and Man and that He was killed because of our sins. We put Him up on that cross. Sit in front of the cross often. I have a 12 inch cross with the crucified Jesus nailed onto it literally. I hold that often and allow His love for me to shine from it. It's heart wrenching seeing someone love sinful old me so much that they would willingly die for me to save me from my own sinfulness. Another thing I do very often is watch The Passion of The Christ. That movie is probably the closest thing to the real violence Jesus experienced. I am willing to bet He was treated even worse. Watch the Scourging at the Pillar scene, it tears my heart out every time I watch it; and I keep watching it keeping my head and my heart focused on what Jesus did for me.

Finally I want to say, you need to spend time in prayer on your knees. In your home, in a chapel, at Mass, become a true person of prayer. As long as kneeling doesn't injure you and you are able to get up, then you need to kneel before Him. He deserves our worship and I believe by doing that often, it keeps our mind and heart in focus that we are kneeling before God, the Almighty God of the Universe. We are not bigger than Him and He is not there for our disposal for whatever we ask, and we dare not treat Him like He is a nobody or just a statement on money. He is God. He is a loving, merciful, caring God, but remember He is still God. And most importantly each day we need to be humble before Him, arrogance and a mean spirit towards Him is no way to show God how much we love Him. Jesus loves us so much, embrace that love that He freely gives us and once you got hold of it, share it with everybody you can.

Today's Challenge: Spend a minimum 30 minutes total a day with Jesus somehow. 15 minutes of prayer, 15 minutes of silence before the cross, be creative and spend time with Him, (Pray The Rosary, The Stations of the Cross). Then build your day around those activities. Your life will never be the same, nor will you every be able to live each day without Him once you begin doing this.

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