Waiting in Joyful Hope


The Visitation (1910) by Henry Ossawa Tanner

There will be great signs in the heavens when the Son of Man comes in his glory. Will you be ready? It isn’t likely that the end of the world will happen during our life time, so we shouldn’t be too worried should we? Wrong! God will come for everyone of us at a time we do not know. We will receive our first judgment at that time, and that time may be within a year for some of us. Are we ready?

Of course we hope to be ready when the Lord comes for us, but our real desire should be to live in a faithful relationship with Him right now. Our lives are different when we try to remain close to God. We should ask ourselves this question: Do I truly want to be faithful to God? If I try to live my life close to God, being faithful to what He has revealed through the Scriptures and the Church, will I be more happy or less? I guess we should ask the question: What does it mean to be happy?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about happiness

“The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement- however beneficial it may be- such as science, technology, and art, or in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and all love.” (CCC #1723)

A friend of ours, Fr. Bruce Neile, told us that if he was ever feeling a little discouraged he would visit a friend of his who was a quadriplegic. He said this man was always filled with great joy because of his love of God. No matter what we have to go through on the worst day of our life, there will always be someone who has it much worse and yet is filled with peace because of their relationship with God.

If we have the capacity to think, we have the capacity to be faithful to God.

God has given us the commandment that we must love Him with all our mind, heart and strength, because He created us to discover our happiness in Him. He is the source of all Love and all that is good, and we can only reach our potential to love others by loving God above all else. Of course we don’t just naturally love God above everything else.

Our temptation is to only look at ourselves and what we need or want. However, we have not been created for ourselves, but for God and for the others in our lives. Jesus tells us, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt. 16:25). In other words, if we just live for ourselves and what we want, we are lost and bound to be unhappy. We fall into a routine that robs us of our joy and peace.

The Church has given us this season of Advent to help us refocus on what is most important. Our Lord wants us to ask him for the grace we need to grow closer to him so that we might experience the joy and peace that only he can give, and then share it with the people we love.

The way to be prepared for Christ when he comes for us is to live each day close to him; being faithful to what he has revealed to us through the Scriptures and the Church, intimately connected to him in our prayer.

If you have a spouse, pray together as husband and wife. If you have children, pray with them. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Begin with an Our Father or Hail Mary and then mention some things that you are grateful for or concerned about. Prayer brings security to the family and is necessary to live a life of faith along with the sacraments. When the Lord comes we will not only be ready. We will be happy.


About Deacon Tom Fox

Deacon Tom Fox is the co-founder of The Pilgrim Center of Hope. The Pilgrim Log is the blog of the Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization ministry, providing weekly spiritual reflections to help you journey toward a deeper relationship with Christ. Learn more about the Pilgrim Center of Hope by visiting www.pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s