downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources Jan 2021
From Michelle Obama’s Most Poignant Quotes
“You cannot make decisions based on the possibility of what might happen.”
“The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.”
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Our Virtue for January – JOY
The spiritual author, Richard Rohr, has said: “I have committed myself to joy. I have come to realize that those who make space for joy, those who prefer nothing to joy, those who desire the utter reality, will most assuredly have it. We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves. In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy.”
In these our uncertain times, we can lose sight of joy. We can become easily saddened, afraid, and questioning all that affects our lives. And, so, As Richard Rohr says we must “make space for joy.” We must pray for unhardened hearts and a gleeful spirit. We can encourage one another to be joyful, as carefree as possible in spite this COVID looming over us. We can reach deep into our hearts, there where JOY reigns.
When we know joy inside of ourselves, it does reveal itself to others on our pathway. It spills over into our everyday lives. Everything and everyone on our pathway takes on a glimmer, a sparkle, a reason for happiness. Pope Francis tells us: Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved. (From The Joy of the Gospel.)
Scripture Quotes on JOY
As you pray, thank God for all the ways JOY comes into your life.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Isaiah 55:12 “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Practices for JOY
During COVID Season we seek to overcome dark times with some practices for JOY:
- Smile, say hi, to every person you see today. Enjoy the reaction.
- Dress ridiculously nicely (for no reason at all).
- Exercise in a way that gives you joy. Lift, run, dance, jump, walk, swim, play!
- Breathe deeply. Imagine the things you are thankful for on each inhale. Let go of your upset feelings on each exhale.
- Walk outside and listen to nature sounds. This will calm your nerves after a stressful or tiring day.
- Gaze at the clouds. Quiet your inner chatter. Try to identify interesting shapes in the sky.
- Drink a big glass of water. You will feel much better if you are hydrated.
- Watch that movie you have been wanting to see, but no one will watch with you, because you need to learn how to enjoy yourself without needing the company of another.
- Give your dog or cat a new toy and get tickled when you see how excited it becomes.
- Listen to upbeat music while doing monotonous tasks like folding laundry or fixing breakfast. Dancing like a crazy person makes even the most boring of chores more bearable!
The following articles can nurture our sense of JOY in our daily life. You are invited to prayerfully reflect on the contents as you read.
Life Is Vocation to Joy: Monsignor Francesco Follo Paris, January 16, 2015 (Zenit.org)
The Power of Joy: Thomas N. Hopper, Unity, A Positive Path for Spiritual Living (unity.org)
Music that nurtures JOY
The music listed below can guide our experience and celebration of this joyous liturgical season.
Joy & Happiness – Uplifting Inspiring Motivational Classical Music
Emotions Series: Happiness, Most Happiest, Joyful Music Mix of All Time for 2 Hours
Mix – CHRISTMAS SONGS OF JOY (Unison Choir) – Joseph M. Martin
Art that Depicts JOY
Spend some time in prayer as you gaze on the artwork below. Let the images enter your heart to guide your daily lived experience of JOY.
Children find joy in the simplest of things. Look for joy in the simplest moments of your life today.
Feel the joy in you own experience. Let joy-filled moments with others fill your heart as you gaze on this image.
Life can be a vocation of Joy. What in your life has called you to want to leap for JOY?
Websites that Spark Joy
To get through this COVID time, let’s choose JOY together.
With you in faith, hope, love and joy!
Women of Faith SSA