Joy. What a delightful word that is! Joy should be the hallmark of who we are as Christians; joy should define the way we live. We have that on no less an authority than Jesus Himself, who said at the Last Supper: “I have told you all these things that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
It’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it? The same sentiment was expressed in another way by Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a 19th-century Carmelite nun: “The secret of happiness, and the secret of all the saints, is that they loved God as a friend.”
It all sounds simple enough, and reasonable enough, until you remember that every one of us is saddled with something called the human condition, and our all-too-human emotions–doubt, suffering, anger, fear–can get into the way of the joy that can be ours.
We all need to know that God is a faithful friend, especially in difficult times. People who don’t know about divine love often ask, “Where was God when I needed him?” Those who know him as a friend are more inclined to trust Him in all circumstances.
A shaken faith is not a shattered faith. Pain is pain, and each individual has to deal with suffering in his or her own way. But those who have God as a friend draw strength from Him, and manage to carry on with courage.
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