Christmas and the Spirit of Joy

The Christmas season is all about joy. This is not what we might think: true joy is not synonymous with laughter or merry-making, though these might be expressions of it. True joy is something much deeper — and much rarer.

In his recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis talks about the joy of the Gospel. He points out that much in modern daily life conspires against the conditions necessary to experiencing this joy.

“The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience,” the Holy Father writes. “God’s voice is no longer heard, the quite joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.”

Christmas, with its preparatory season of Advent, offers a time when our hearts can turn to the source of real joy and put the rest of the world in its proper place. It is the joy of having a personal encounter with Jesus, Son of God.

During this next fortnight, let us find a few moments of peace and quiet to reflect on the ultimate miracle wrought by God’s love for us: his Incarnation as a human child, born in humble conditions. The birth of a child is so commonplace, yet every parent can attest to the flood of joy that enters them at the moment their son or daughter enters the world. Such experiences are only a glimpse of that offered by God.

To be sure, enjoy the festivities and visiting; they, too, are how we celebrate the season. Yet find a few moments for silence. Allow God to speak directly to your heart and immerse you in his love.

May God bestow his blessings on all of you at this Christmas season, from your friends here at Novalis and Living with Christ.

Joseph Sinasac, Publishing Director

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