Archive for January, 2012

Let them offer sacrifices in thanksgiving and recount His deeds with jubilation.  - Ps 107:22

Reflection.  Life is difficult because there are endless problems to be solved each day.  But if you take them one at a time, you’ll get through just fine.  Love can make it easy, but perfect love can make it joy.

Prayer.  Lord God, bestow on me a grateful heart, and let me rejoice in Your wonder. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a resolute spirit within me.  - Ps 51:12

Reflection.  Sometimes the emotional connection between our brain and our body is dull.  We know intellectually that God loves us at every moment of the day, but we still remain listless.  St. Paul said, “Rejoice always” (Phil 4:4).  Just do it, and don’t ask so many questions.

Prayer.  Lord, quicken my spirit that I may live in Your joy more fully.

You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I rejoice.  – Ps 63:8

Reflection.  I am protected by God’s love.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have many problems, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).  Do not let your soul be troubled.  Let the Lord bring you to safe ground.

Prayer.  Teach me to trust in Your love more and more, O Lord. 

I am confident that I will behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  - Ps 27:13

Reflection.  No need to feel left out in the cold.  There is always grace.  Do not weep for yourself.  Self-pity will only bring you down further.  The Lord will lift you up this day; He will revive your drooping spirit.

Prayer.  I feel Your embrace, O Lord; carry me higher. 

Restore to me the joy of being saved, and grant me the strength of a generous spirit.  – Ps 51:14

Reflection.  Sadness can always be traced to some cause.  Find the cause, and try to eliminate it from your life.  Some things may have to be accepted as unavoidable unhappiness, and everything else can be tweaked and changed for the better.  Count your blessings, and all will be well.

Prayer.  Help me, Lord, to be more courageous when I want to give up and run away. 

All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness.  - Ps 47:2

Reflection.  There are four kinds of prayer:  petition, thanksgiving, atonement, and adoration.  Adoration is the act of rejoicing in the Lord.  Adoration can be as silent as a sunset, or as loud and thundering as Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”  Either way adoration feels good.

Prayer.  Be still, my soul, and let me praise my Lord and my God. 

Behold, we are now going up to Jerusalem.  – Mk 10:33

Reflection.  God is on your side.  How do you know that?  You know it because He loves you, and He wants to give you the fullness of joy.  He told you that at the Last Supper.  Fill your life with meaning, and trust that with God’s help there will be a happy outcome.

Prayer.  With You at my side, Lord, all things are possible. 

Trust your own judgment, for you have no counselor more reliable for you.  - Sir 37:13

Reflection.  “We cannot begin to know ourselves until we can see the real reasons why we do the things we do” (Thomas Merton).  Take the time to think about your underlying motives and prejudices.  Then pray for the grace to do God’s Will in all your decisions.

Prayer.  I want to be holy in Your sight, O Lord.  Tell what I have to do to improve. 

Jesus said, “Knock, and the door will be opened to you.”  - Mt 7:7

Reflection.  The words of Jesus give us the raw material of hope and encouragement.  He asks us to trust Him.  That means you have to follow His advice to shape a brighter, happier attitude of mind.  Like love, hope is in the will.  Put on the will to be more hopeful.

Prayer.  Lord, I will put on the indomitable will to expect that the best is yet to come. 

Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy.  - Ps 126:2

Reflection.  To develop an attitude of joy one must prepare long in advance.  You don’t wait for good things to happen in order to be of good cheer.  Decide now to rejoice in all circumstances, and hold on to that intention.  Joy will follow in time.  Trust me on that.

Prayer.  Father, lift me above the turmoil of this world; help me to be a cheerful person.