The Virtue of the month for Challenge and Conquest in the month of December is Joy. Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. Joy brings peace in your heart and it is lasting. It comes from doing good and loving God. Joy comes when we know that whatever happens we are held in the arms of the Father. A Christian’s joy is a shared joy. When you do something fun with your friends it is great to talk about it afterwards and almost seems better just because other people were there. A shared joy is a deeper joy.
As Christians we share the same faith and hope that God loves us and we will be with him one day. It is a joy we share with millions around the world. Pope Francis recently said that “Joy springs from a grateful heart.” If you stop and think about it, this statement is very important. Everyone wants to be happy and find the secret to always keep a smile on their face and joy in their hearts. Gratitude or being grateful for all the blessing God gives you does make you happier. When we start to be envious or ungrateful and act like we deserve certain things from people, then we find ourselves sad or down. Selfishness does that. People who know how to thank other people and God sincerely for all they receive in the day, will probably find themselves with a smile on their faces and joy in their hearts.
Jesus explains that nothing should cause you to be upset or lose that deeply rooted hope that comes from knowing you are loved by God. Grief may happen or loneliness but Jesus is says that in the end we will be joyful. Joy is a Christian virtue and we should be joyful people, especially when we see people come back to God.
Prayer of Offering
Mary is a wonderful example of a joyful and grateful heart. The prayer of the Magnificat can be found in Luke 1:46 when Mary arrives to see her cousin Elizabeth. She says,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.”
The Catechism number of the month is all about Joy. It is number 1804 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“Human virtues make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good. The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.”