How to Cultivate Peace and Joy
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What greater gifts could God give us in our daily lives than peace and joy? Cultivating peace and joy are easier than one may think. Often it is a matter of putting aside all distractions, worries and concerns, and even turning off your technology to make room for solitude and serenity, even if only for a brief time. For it is times such as these that we are able to reconnect with our inner self and plug into God's Divine Will, the source of our strength and well-being.
As Christians, the closer we follow Jesus, Our Savior, the closer we become to God, Our Creator--and the greater the joy and peace we experience. For me, sometimes all I have to do is repeat the name 'Jesus' and my peace is swiftly restored. It is important to resist the temptation to call a friend for solace or advice when distressed, rather than first take a breather and go into my room to pray before anything else. For many, it takes strength and self-control to turn to God first, but the benefits of seeking God first in all things can be life-changing. For Scripture tells us:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him!" Romans 15:13
When peace and joy are reestablished, or even realized for the first time in a person's life, there can be a feeling of letting go of longtime burdens. It can be similar to taking a deep sigh of relief when chaos and turbulence are put in their place, and you are free from turmoil and despair. With peace, there is no worry or trepidation; no fear or dread. Just a feeling that all is well. The same goes for joy, an emotion far beyond happiness, one that is also born from prayer and closeness with God as we seek Him in earnest.
Trust in God is at the heart of regaining or establishing one's peace and joy. For when we trust God with our lives, asking Him to be in control and handing the reins over to Him. We have the feeling that all is well. Our burdens are lightened as we recognize that we are not alone in this world to fend for ourselves. With the Living God, we are able to ask for whatever we need and know God has our best interest at heart. and is working all things for the good. We can have child-like trust as God provides us with discernment, wisdom, knowledge, protection, healing and comfort along the journey. For it is that trust in Jesus that renders us free to pursue peace and joy. Free from negativity, free from the bondage of one's past or current failures; freedom from fear of the future, and the freedom to share that God-given peace and joy with others.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary. That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
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