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Finding Lasting Joy

The twinkle lights. The tree. Shiny ornaments. Fresh cookies. Cheerful music. Happy movies. Warm get-togethers. Laughter. Love.

That was my Christmas season—even my Advent season—as a young child, and I remember the specific feelings I experienced of joy and wonder; joy with open hands and a full heart, and wonder with the beauty of the season and with what was to come.

At the time, it was a lot less about Jesus than it is for me now, but the joy and the wonder still remain, and I realize their importance even more recently: to show me how to trust God in the most child-like way—in the way that lets you live freely because you know you’re in good hands, in the way that accepts pain and wrongdoings and knows this isn’t the end, and in way that believes—and believes and believes and rejoices—that God has not left us. In the way that Jesus did as He was born, as He lived, and as He died.

So this season, I still celebrate with open hands and a full heart like I did all those years ago, however this time it’s all about accepting how Jesus comes, accepting what He brings, and believing completely that God is with us, and that justice will come, as our Responsorial Psalm tells us today.

I still celebrate with open hands and a full heart like I did all those years ago, however this time it's all about accepting how Jesus comes, accepting what He brings, and believing completely that God is with us. Click To Tweet

Need help finding joy? Try praying for the intercession of Saint Philip Neri, literally the patron of joy!

Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    December 4, 2018 at 9:12 am

    To trust God in a way that allows me to live freely… I’m still working on that myself, and this reflection provides such encouragement to me on that front! Thanks, Annie! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mamie
    December 4, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Thank you for the link to this joy filled saint! I have been struggling with remaining charitable with my mother in law while we joke back and forth this holiday season, and I now know who to pray to for intercession 🙂 St Philip Neri, pray for us!

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