Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Christian Joy

On Sunday, T got an email from the Catholic group on campus that said Sr. Joseph Andrew, OP, was coming to BC to give a talk on Christian Joy and the New Evangelization.  He asked me, 
"Isn't that the vocations director of the order you almost joined?" :)  
"Yes," I said. "We should definitely go to that talk and see her."  [I met Sr. Joseph Andrew at GU my freshman year and went on two retreats at the sisters' convent. After the second retreat, we had "the talk" (that is, the vocation talk) and she said she didn't think I was called to religious life (and also that she thought the guy I was dating at the time probably wasn't supposed to be my husband). I didn't feel bad because I was kinda feeling the same thing, but it was good to have her say it--good confirmation.]
Before the talk started, I said hello to Sister and she said, "Hey!! I know you!"  [Except, you have to imagine it with a beautiful, delicate, Tennessee accent!]  She got to meet Taylor for the first time, too.  Since her order's in Michigan, she wasn't able to come to the wedding, but she and her sisters have been praying for us, I'm sure :)  We got married on the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, and when Sister replied to our wedding invitation she said, "Married on the feast of St. Catherine! You know what that means--we get your daughters!"  
But, I digress... :)
The talk was great, too! She explained to us, regarding Christian Joy, that joy is not necessarily happiness. One can be happy and joyful at the same time, but it isn't necessary to be happy to be joy-full.  Christians are called to "Rejoice Always!" (I Thess 5:16) or, as she put it, in every present moment, be rejoicing.  It's a present active verb--be doing it, right now!  
She told us there's no event in life that can ever take away the joy of a believer.  In fact, suffering is God's compliment to us, that He has confidence in us to bear the suffering with joy.  Jesus, in His discourse with His disciples at the last supper, tells them He will suffer on the cross and be rejected by the world.  He finishes His long discourse by telling them, "I tell you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full."  
And who was the most blessed among women? What did she have to suffer? But--what joy did she also have in life, to be the Mother of God and honored above all the saints? Through Christ's suffering and death, His joy can be in us--really in us--and our joy is full with His.  
Taylor, Sister Joseph Andrew, and me 
(Yes, T and I have matching raincoats) :) 
And so, I say with my Momma: Rejoice, oh Highly Favored Daughter! For you have found favor with God.  It won't be easy, and it definitely won't always be fun, but again, I say: Rejoice!

1 comment:

  1. Cool post, interesting thoughts. It's cool to hear all of all of the work the Lord was doing in the background during your earlier years, and preparing the two of you for each other.