Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Joy in the Resurrection!

Joy

Joy in the ResurrectionHappy Easter, everyone! The Lord is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! I hope and pray that you each had a wonderful Easter Sunday with family and friends. Easter is so special that we have an entire season (seven weeks) to celebrate the joy in the Resurrection. The Easter season runs from yesterday through to Pentecost Sunday. But the focus this week is on the Easter octave, an eight-day period, that ends on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is within this week that we reflect on Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and what that means for each of us.

We Believe in the Resurrection of the Dead

As Christians, we look at Jesus’ Resurrection and realize that we, too, will be resurrected when Christ Continue reading

Find Joy in Lenten Sacrifices

Joy

Lenten SacrificesI know some people who dread the season of Lent because all they can see is sacrifice and loss and they don’t want to participate in either. They don’t want to give anything up for Lent. Nor, do they want to refrain from eating meat on Fridays. In addition, little to no interest exists in giving of their time and/or talent for the love of God and neighbor. Yet, sacrifice has a purpose meant to draw us closer to God. We can find joy in Lenten sacrifices.

Those who do wish to partake in the Lenten season usually give up their favorite foods/drink. Others sacrifice their free time and use it to do good deeds for others. This year my Continue reading

Wishing You Christ’s Joy

Joy

Christ's JoyChrist’s joy is not fleeting. His joy abides in the human heart, even in times of stress. Christ’s joy is what I wish for you this holiday season. How does one receive such a joy, so deep, that even crises cannot set it a kilter? Such joy resides in the heart of one who places their full faith and trust in Jesus. I can give personal testimony to this fact.

Christ’s Joy Touched My Life

Back in 2011, I felt much discontent in my job. Therefore, I knew I needed a change. So, I handed in my retirement notice. I went back to school for my Masters in Pastoral Theology and gave my life to God to do with as Continue reading

New Year Brings Change, Like It or Not

New Year Brings Change, Like It of NotOut with the old, in with the new! As we welcome the promise of the New Year, let us not forget all that God provides. Everything God gives us is a gift, right down to every breath we take.

Many times when we experience struggle and illness, we want to push the pain away as soon as we can, and forget the incident. Out of sight – out of mind! We certainly do not consider struggle and illness as gifts coming from God! However, that is not necessarily true. Even times of difficulty can be a gift from God. It is at these times that He graces us with opportunity to grow closer to Him. No – He does not Continue reading

Advent – A Time of Preparation: Repent & Wait with Joy

advent wreath Yesterday, we began the season of Advent, a time of preparation, repentance, waiting and joy. Sunday’s second reading from Romans 13:11-14 tells us to clothe ourselves in virtue:

Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires Continue reading

Fruits of the Spirit: Virtues to Cherish

Fruits of the Spirit

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23)

Do you notice something in common with all of these fruits of the Spirit? Each one of them is also a virtue! As I was studying for my Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology, I came across this passage from Galatians, and it hit me: Virtue must be very important to the Holy Spirit, when six of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, received at Confirmation are virtues, and all nine of the fruits of the Spirit are virtues.

Bearing fruits of the Spirit is the outcome that results from our living a Christ-like life. When we imitate Christ, Continue reading

Joy to the World! Dance with Joy!

Joy

dance with joy Many people equate joy with happiness and use the words interchangeably. However, joy is different from happiness. Where happiness is fleeting, joy is lasting; where joy has no “conditions,” happiness has “conditions.” For example, “I’ll be happy if…” constitutes a condition. And when human beings define what constitutes happiness, we ultimately disappoint ourselves. Many people think that riches and fame will bring happiness; but once received, we would quickly learn that we are more likely to experience anxiety and discontent, rather than happiness. As humans, we search for happiness in vain. Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that we will not fully understand the degree of happiness for which we search, until we will be united with God in Continue reading

Receiving Christmas Joy

Joy

Receive Joy

As a Christmas present from me to you, I offer you a homily about receiving Christmas Joy, written by a very good friend of mine, Father Paul Buchanan, who gave the following homily on Christmas day last year to parishioners at my church. At the time, Father Paul was a Transitional Deacon. He has since been ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 2014, and now serves at Saint Matthew Church, in Charlotte, NC.

Receiving Christmas Joy

Joy to the world! The Lord is come. We all know the line from the carol. But why do we rejoice on Christmas day? It’s not just “because God became a man” – although that is a wondrous thing, and an awesome Continue reading