Joy ~ Peace ~ Hope ~ Love ~ Forgiveness
JOY . . . Happiness of the spirit – lightheartedness. St. Paul wrote, “Rejoice always in the Lord. Again, I say rejoice.” Jesus is the basis of our rejoicing. Joy is to life what springs are to an automobile. Joy cushions the blows and the rough times of our pilgrimage. J-O-Y = Jesus Only You.
PEACE . . . Freedom from fear, anxiety, worry and addictions to creatures. Jesus said, “My peace I give you. My peace I leave you.” After his resurrection, He greeted His friends, “Peace be with you.” On TV, we saw people of Moscow marching in the streets, risking violent death, for the sake of freedom. We too, can fight with the help of Christ against anything in life that threatens to take away our freedom.
HOPE . . . When I am down in spirits, disappointed with life, I think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, a Name He gave Himself. “I am the Good Shepherd. I know mine and mine know Me.” The early Christians inscribed this symbol of Christ on the walls of the catacombs in Rome. He was portrayed as a Shepherd with a lamb draped around His neck. In my low spirits, I am that lamb. The Lord has picked me up and carries me because He sees my crippled condition. This gives me hope, this trust in the Good Shepherd.
LOVE . . . Jesus said, “Love Me with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.” Treat each person we meet with this attitude: “This is the most important person in the world.” In doing this, we will find that much love will flow out of our hearts towards all whom we meet.
FORGIVENESS . . . In the prayer, the “Our Father”, we say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Be the first to forgive and do it quickly. Why wait for the other person to step forward first? Holding hard, unforgiving feelings can devastate the spirit and drive out all chances of true happiness.
Just saying these five qualities of life brings a sense of comfort to my heart. Say them often. JOY – PEACE- HOPE – LOVE – FORGIVENESS.
Fr. George Mc Kenna