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. 

Heed advice and accept instruction so that your wisdom may increase in the future.  - Prov 19:20

Reflection.  The ancient philosopher Epictetus gave us some sage advice: “First say to yourself what you should be, and then do what you have to do.”  It sounds so simple, but try it.  Staying faithful to your noble goals and aspirations takes willpower.

Prayer.  There’s still time for me, Lord, to make my life really meaningful.  Give me the grace to keep trying. 

Your deeds, O Lord, have caused me to exult; at the works of Your hands I shout for joy. - Ps 92:5

Reflection.  From time to time pursue moments of contemplation.  Calm down, and become aware of the Lover within you. St. Paul said, “In Him we live and breathe and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  A few seconds each hour is enough to let Him know you care.

Prayer.  Lord, wipe the mist from my eyes that I may see Your glory.

I will go to the altar of God, to the God of my joy and delight, and I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God.  - Ps 43:4

Reflection.  Jesus said, “Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).  He always turned to the Father to give Him praise, as well as to ask for help.  Give praise and reverence to God each day, and He will reward your heart’s desire.

Prayer.  Heavenly Father, I praise Your Holy Name as I place my needs before You. 

Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you what your heart desires.  - Ps 37:4

Reflection.  The teaching of a great 15th-century mystic, named Blessed Julian of Norwich, inspires us this day with true wisdom.  She wrote, “The greatest honor you can give the Almighty God, greater than all your sacrifices and mortifications, is to live joyfully because of the knowledge of His love.”

Prayer.  Dear Holy Spirit, fill my soul with gladness. 

Trust the Lord forever, for in Him you have an everlasting Rock.  - Isa 26:4

Reflection.  What you sow in your mind, you will reap in your emotions.  What you sow in your emotions, you will reap in your actions.  And what you sow in your actions, you will reap in your destiny.  Toxic thoughts produce toxic emotions.  Focus on the quality of your thoughts.  Be your own best friend; control your thoughts.

Prayer.  Keep me on the straight and narrow, Lord.  Help me to control my thinking. 

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