May 14, 2016

Today is my brother’s Birthday, and I just remembered how my grandmother always celebrated our birthdays together with a party. I never understood this, since our birthdays are three months apart from each other, so my brother always had to wait for me to turn a year older in order to have his birthday party. It did not bother us though, we mostly cared about the gifts and the cake, and we always had enough of both.

However, I disliked with all the forces of my child’s heart receiving money or clothes as a gift, and whenever I did I was deeply disappointed because there was no excitement in money, how do you play with money? Where’s the fun in a new t-shirt?  I was always expecting toys, because a new toy was the equivalent of joy.

This does not mean I did not appreciate money or clothes, or the people who gave me all these stuff, but as a kid the end was to be joyful and enjoy life. Everything that would bring me joy, anything that would make me joyful was the goal, and toys were the main source of this joy.

In fact every single child I have ever seen is naturally oriented towards joy. I have seen kids play soccer with an empty bottle of water, or my niece smiling every time she sees flowers, children see the greatest possible joy they can get out something, and they desire all kinds of things that make them happy, they do not care whether it is expensive or costs nothing, it is all about the joy.

The human being is naturally oriented towards joy, but we forget this many times, we forget how to desire joy before anything else.  Brothers and sisters, we are about to celebrate our birthdays tomorrow, the birthday of our beautiful Catholic Church, our temple, our body, our faith.  And of course because it is our birthday we will receive gifts, but only if we become like little children is that we will enjoy these gifts. These gifts are intended to make us joyful so that we can spread the joy to the world and rejoice in the graces given by our Father.

If you are going to ask for a great gift from the Holy Spirit, ask for joy, for it is the greatest gift, it enables us to receive any other grace, any other gift, any other blessing from God. It is not supernatural but it leads us to supernatural graces, it is the path to our relationship with the Divine Trinity!

Oh Mary full of grace, how joyful you were when you received it in you womb! St.  Elizabeth, how marvelous was they joy when it touched your heart that even your child moved driven by it!

Oh Joy, what an amazing gift! The language God speaks, and such a humble gift we must learn to ask.

We must fervently ask for every single gift the Holy Spirit has available for us, but I encourage you to ask for joy primarily. Joy is the most extraordinary gift of all, it comes directly from God, it makes others smile, it makes you want to set the world in fire, it makes you a real Christian, it heals, it exults, it makes you a child.

“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen."
St. Augustine.
Frassati NY