Dear brothers and sisters-
During one of my recent meditations, I came across a wonderful quote that so clearly illustrates our role as Christians (apostolate). Now, I’d like to point out that the essence of this role gives life to the sower and to the witness. What a beautiful gift!
“The Christian is a sower of joy, a communicator of gladness; this is why he achieves great things. Joy is one of the most irresistible powers in the world; it brings about calm; it soothes away anger, it wins people over. He who is cheerful is a natural apostle. A cheerful countenance attracts men to God, showing them what the presence of God produces within the soul. This is why the Holy Spirit gives us the advice, ‘Do not be downcast or look troubled, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10).” -M.V. Bernadot, The Eucharist and the Trinity
Now I know there are many critics out there (I am included in this group), that may initially question how such a disposition can be expressed when life presents so many difficulties and tribulations. We, the critics, are capable of understanding the attractive nature of serenity and cheerfulness; nonetheless, in the midst of trials, we question how we are supposed to maintain this spirit of joy that we are called to. Here’s a powerful practice:
Remain constant in prayer, and invite Our Father to accompany you in every aspect of life (whether it may be a moment of laughter or one of hopelessness).
Our Father wants to converse with us! We are His children, needy and small. He is there always to listen to us and understand us.
So, relating the importance of prayer to living joyously as an apostle, I share the following: By calling upon Our Father in all that we do, we are inviting in peace and joy. Our Father is not asking us to dismiss those painful experiences, nor is He denying that life will have struggles. Rather, He promises that if we turn to Him, He will be our strength. And, my dear friends, it is that which comes from God that will draw others to God. We call upon Our Father, that He may give us peace, and that peace will reveal to others the freedom that comes from God.
May the peace and joy that comes from Our Loving Father be with you in all that you do.