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Franciscan Joy
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
Source: The Simple Way
Published: Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wisdom 2:24, part of this Sunday’s first reading, tells us that “by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.” Along these same lines, Francis writes: “The devil is most happy when he can snatch from a servant of God true joy of spirit. He carries dust with him to throw into the smallest chinks of conscience and thus soil one’s mental candor and purity of life. But if joy of spirit fills the heart, the serpent shoots his deadly venom in vain.”

Joy is the sign of the presence of God because joy is the byproduct of living the gospel and walking in the footsteps of Christ. How disillusioning is the pursuit of happiness for its own sake, for happiness itself is ephemeral. The pursuit of God, on the other hand, brings joy which, unlike happiness, is a state of soul in union with God, not an ephemeral possession like happiness which is sometimes pursued the way one pursues money or fame or success.

What do I need to do to find and preserve joy of spirit?

Adapted from The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis, by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

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