The Effects of Hope // Interior Joy
One of the clearest expressions of joy in the Gospel came from one of the most hope-filled women, Saint Elizabeth. At the Visitation, when Mother Mary, newly pregnant, visited her cousin Elizabeth, the infant in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy! That joyful leap overflowed into Saint Elizabeth’s own heart as she proclaimed words of steadfast hope, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Saint Elizabeth knew these words to be true; she had lived them.
Saint Elizabeth and her husband were able to conceive later in life through a miracle. Though not explicitly said, we can imagine the longing and yearning this faithful couple had for a child. We can ponder the prayers and petitions that rose to God from their hearts, month after month. Yet, there was hope! And we can see that hope in the words Saint Elizabeth joyfully shared with her cousin.
A hopeful heart is a joyful heart because Christ is found at its center. When we hope, we are telling God, “Yes! We believe in You!” and that we trust in His plan for us. When we place our total confidence in Christ, there is freedom, and that freedom leads to peace, and that peace leads to joy.
I recently read a quote by G.K. Chesterton that helped me. He said:
Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.
May we, like Saint Elizabeth, place our hope in God and may the fruit of that hope—the joy that overflows—be the most fundamental thing in us.
Let Us Pray
Heavenly Father, help us to have joy in You that has no end. Renew hope in our hearts today so that, like Saint Elizabeth, we may overflow with supernatural joy. May praise be the permanent pulsation of our souls. Amen!
Examine your heart and life. Is your soul in a steady state of interior joy? Why or why not?
If you chose to hope in the face of seemingly hopeless situations in your life, how would you feel more free, more His?