The just man rejoices in the Lord and seeks refuge in Him.  - Ps 64:11

Reflection. The great theologian and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin saw God in every living thing.  Here is a beautiful prayer he wrote.

Prayer. I thank You, my God, for having in a thousand ways led my eyes to discover the immense simplicity of things … I can no longer see anything, nor any longer breathe outside that milieu in which all is made one.

Seek no revenge and bear no grudge against your fellow countrymen.  - Lev 19:18

Reflection. A spirit of forgiveness is the first step toward joy.  “Prophetic religion through the ages has stressed the need for forgiveness and tolerance … psychology now supplements this insight by teaching us that we can achieve inner health only through forgiveness — the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves.”  – Joshua Liebman

Prayer. Dear Lord, I have forgiven others their faults, but I have a hard time forgiving myself for my own.  Give me the spirit of forgiveness, for myself as well as others.

May all who seek You rejoice in You and be jubilant.  May those who love Your salvation cry out forever, “The Lord be magnified.”  - Ps 40:17

Reflection. The word “joy” conjures up images of celebration, full-bodied laughter, or feelings of enchantment.  But there is another dimension.  Joy is essentially a share in God’s inmost Being.  God is perfectly whole, needing nothing for completion.  He possesses in Himself the fullness of Being and Life.  Joy is God’s life.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise of eternal joy.  Please allow me the privilege of living joyfully right now.

It is not the healthy who need a physician, but rather those who are sick.  Go and learn what this text means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”  I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.  - Mt 9:12-13

Reflection. This is the Good News of the Gospel.  Jesus explicitly says that God will judge us on the degree of mercy we exhibit toward others, not on the number of times we offer ritual sacrifices.  Also, He says that His first concern is to save sinners.

Prayer. Dear Lord, I thank You for this revelation.  I am a sinner in what I have done, and in what I have left undone.  This assurance of Your mercy brings joy to my soul.

Just as a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.     - Ps 103:13

Reflection. All my life I have noticed that outstanding people of every religion have something very special in common.  They all possess the fundamental wisdom that we are children of a gracious God, a God Who loves us dearly, and they are grateful.  Their gratitude gives them sweetness of spirit.

Prayer. Grant me, O Lord, sweetness of spirit, which is born of reverential fear.  I feel Your compassion, and it makes me happy.

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  - Phil 4:7

Reflection. The older we get, the greater becomes our inclination to give thanks, especially heavenward.  We feel more strongly than we could possibly have ever felt before that life is a free gift … and every hour … an unexpected gift to be gratefully received.  – Martin Buber

Prayer. Dear Father, how fortunate I am to enjoy the gift of life.  Thank  you.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks will receive, and those who seek will find, and to those who knock the door will be opened.  - Mt 7:7-8

Reflection. Trust comes with difficulty.  When our feet are buried in quicksand, fear envelops us.  We are tempted in times of turmoil to reach for alcohol or drugs, anything to soothe that savage feeling of fear.  This is the time to cry out to Jesus for help.

Prayer. Quiet my troubled soul, O Lord, and give me Your hand to lift me up.  Lead me to safety, and I will follow You.

He said to them, “Why are you fearful?  Are you still without faith?”  - Mk 4:40

Reflection. The evil one stirs up our fears to keep us suspicious, self-centered, immobile, and full of self-pity.  In this way, Satan tries to put us in hell day by day.  But we are made for heaven.  There is always grace to help us get to where God wants us to be.  Grace is the communication of God’s love, Jesus is the Mediator of Divine grace.  He saves us from our fear.

Prayer. Help me, Lord, to banish fear.  Enable me to understand that You are my strength and joy.

No servants are greater than their master.  If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.  - Jn 15:20

Reflection. There is no joy in this announcement.  Who wants to be persecuted, or rejected?  Wisdom gives this answer:  “Let your main focus be on His Kingdom, and these other things will be given to you” (Lk 12:31).

Prayer. O Lord, when I suffer the price of being Christian, especially at work, at school, or even in my family, remind me that You will never abandon those who suffer in Your Name.

The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.  - 1 Cor 1:25

Reflection. Wisdom is able to distinguish between what is valuable and what is passing.  The truly wise person will see the pearl of great price, which is heaven, and sell everything to possess it.  Wisdom is God speaking to us, calling us to nobility and glory.  Pray for the gift of wisdom.

Prayer. O God of Light and Truth, give me wisdom that I may seek first Your kingdom.

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