Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 9-22-17

The radiant joy of God’s presence

Joy Stories: Why I became a Catholic by Brian Gill

Friars Corner: Jesus died on the cross to forgive all of our sins

 

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The radiant joy of God’s presence

A cross in the sky above Calvary Hill Cemetery, Dallas, TX (photo by Nancy Ward)

A cross in the sky above Calvary Hill Cemetery, Dallas, TX (photo by Nancy Ward)

“Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,” (Psalm 34:6).

What keeps us trying to focus our minds on the Lord and turn our hearts toward his? The joy of knowing he transforms us to reflect his presence and glory until we mirror God himself. 

This radiant joy creeps into our lives as we develop an intimate relationship with the Lord in prayer. Like the early Christians, God created us to display the presence of God in our happiness and joy so that the world will see something is different. 

We are radiant with joy because God loves us. This transformation comes through the indwelling presence of God himself.  These moments of radiant joy help us cultivate the habit of practicing the presence of God. Continue reading

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Joy Stories: Why I became a Catholic by Brian Gill

I’m a Catholic: by choice. I was born into a nice, normal, mainstream Protestant church. I accepted what I was taught there and still do, to a great extent. It’s not so much that I rejected the faith I was brought up in, as learned that it’s a small piece of a much larger reality.

The area I grew up in was virulently anti-Catholic. My parents weren’t — but I couldn’t help but pick up the local culture’s message about the Whore of Babylon. It’s “Queen of Whores” now: tomato, tomahto. Lurid rants about the evils of the Catholic Church got me curious: how could an organization so corrupt, so wicked, be allowed to exist in a civilized society? More to the point, why couldn’t I see any evidence of all those evil deeds?

My curiosity was aroused. Not much, but enough for me to have a sort of ‘In Basket’ in my mind for facts about the Catholic Church. Facts, not assertions: I knew the difference between the two before I left my teens. Continue reading

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Friars Corner: Jesus died on the cross to forgive all of our sins

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Sirach 27:30 -28:9; Ps 103:1-4, 9-12; Romans 14:7-8; Matthew 18:21-35

Dear Holy Spirit, please give us wisdom to know and understand Jesus’ awesome love for us.

God loves us in so many ways. He wants us to receive more of it each day. We can just tune our “satellite dish” to his channel to receive more of his gifts using our baptism always-paid-up credit card. Jesus paid the debt for all sins by his death on the cross. Our Father proved Jesus paid the bill because Jesus came back from the dead and invited us into his kingdom of love.

The first letter of St. John tells us, in 4:10, that God loved us first. Then we are able and empowered to love others partly in gratitude for God’s love and forgiveness of our sins. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 9-15-17

Simple Acts of Love

Six Lessons of 9-11

Friars Corner: Jesus calls us to love, not destroy

Posted in Catholic, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Pope Francis, Quotes, Sacraments, Saints, Scriptures | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Acts of Love

Pope Francis Blesses the Faithful (Stock photo FreeImages,com)

“Any simple act of love, done in obedience and humility, reaches all the way into eternity.” This profound word, spoken at a recent prayer meeting, shocks those embroiled in our toxic culture.

The world tells us we are to do big things. Be self-made people, strong individuals that impact the world.

Yet Jesus tells us we can impact the world by doing his Father’s will and coming into his family.  “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mt 12:50)

We are God’s children, all part of the large and diverse family of God. He loves each of us unconditionally, always with our best interest in mind. He provides for us with an abundance to share with others. We have what one of our siblings in Christ needs and someone else in the family has what we need. All from God’s hand.

Continue reading

Posted in Catholic family, Faithfulness, Family, Healing, Pope Francis, Scriptures | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Six Lessons of 9-11

The Pentagon on fire on 9-11-01 (Photo by Nancy Ward)

After 16 years, I still keep a poster on the wall of my office advertising the National Book Festival, which my husband and I attended on September 8, 2001. All kinds of booths and entertainment venues filled the National Mall in Washington, DC. The neighboring public buildings hosted educational and informational presentations. Authors signed their books in the halls of the Library of Congress. It was a beautiful day—the last one I remember before our lives changed forever three days later. The lesson of thankfulness for beautiful days of innocence.

We moved to DC between Christmas and New Year’s 2001 for a temporary adventure—for a year or so. My husband was a science and technology fellow, advising a senator and we lived in a high-rise apartment on the DC side of the Potomac River. Like you, we will never forget where we were on September 11, 2001 — forever after known as 9-11.  That morning, as soon as the news came on our TV, Phil hurriedly left for the Russell Senate Office Building at the Capitol, a short subway ride away.

Continue reading

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Friars Corner: Jesus calls us to love, not destroy

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Ezekiel 33:7-9; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; Rom 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20

Dear Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds to know God’s will for us and give us your power to do our part to help make the world better.

This Sunday’s gospel is particularly difficult to understand and put into practice. None of us are perfect and therefore we do not live in a perfect family, parish, country or world. Yet how does our behavior help make things better for ourselves and those around us especially our family? If we can be better persons then those around us can be better. Good behavior helps create good behavior. We can look in a mirror first. Where do I need to improve? Continue reading

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