Friday, April 25, 2008


Jesus said to his disciples:“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” John 15: 9-11

In reflecting on this Gospel, it seems to me that Jesus lays out our path in so clear and simple a fashion, it's a wonder to me that I or anyone else have trouble following that path.
All we have to do is follow the commandments and for us that means the Ten Commandments and the great Commandment (Matthew 22: 39 -42). Then are joy will be complete.

No problem! Well of course it's a daily struggle and requires daily choices.
I read the other day that Blessed Frederic Ozanam at age 20 was quite a defender of the faith in law school when someone challenged him by asking,

"What do you do besides talk to prove the faith that is in you?"

Frederic went on to establish the St. Vincent de Paul society which has been and is ample evidence of Frederic's faith as well as many others.
So if I want the joy of Jesus to be complete in me I've got to do something besides talk to prove my faith. In my experience I'm presented every day with opportunities to do just that. The Holy Spirit is like that. Here are a few words on joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit from
Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO.

The second Fruit of the Spirit is Joy. Joy is an abiding sense of well-being based on the experience of a conscious relationship with God. It is the sign of liberation from the false self and the growing awareness of the true self. Flowing from joy comes the freedom to accept the present moment and its content without trying to change it. Bliss might be described as the fullness of joy. It is the abiding sense of being loved by God and of being permanently established in his presence. It is the experience of the living water that flows from the divine Source in our inmost being, which Jesus spoke about in John's Gospel: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Out of that person's inmost being: will flow rivers of living water." John the Evangelist adds: "This he spoke of the Spirit who would be given to those who believe in him" (John 7:37-39).

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