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Joy through Reconciliation
Joy is found by changing our lives; by finding the sin we commit in our own lives which is what brings on the despair we suffer. IT IS SIN THAT CAUSES ALL hopelessness and depression.
DELIGHT IN THE LORD’S COMMANDS
There is an abundance of peace and joy for the soul that delights in the Lord’s commands. Our God is a generous God who showers His love on those who love and obey Him. Even when we are sinning greatly, God envelops us with His love when we make even the slightest effort to amend our ways. We don’t need to be perfect to experience God’s amazing love for us, we just need to be heartily sorry for our sins and possess a willingness to put forth the effort to change our ways. We don’t even necessarily have to be successful at the change we’re trying to implement—God knows our hearts and our desires. He will lovingly bless us and guide us back to the path of joy (which is following his commands) since His mercy and love for us is endless, as long as we truly desire to follow Him.
JOY IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
There is joy waiting for you in all the circumstances of your life—even when you’re experiencing intense suffering. Yes, I really do mean “joy in suffering.” The topic is too lengthy to get into here, so I recommend you read Why We Suffer, available for purchase at www.LiftingOurValues.com or at Amazon.com, to help you understand God’s great plan for all instances of your life—even pain and suffering—and to find out how you can change your life to one of great joy with a wonderful relationship with God, as you journey toward salvation and eternal life in heaven.
SIGNS OF SIN
To get to the point in our lives where we can enjoy the joy-filled life God created us to live, we first need to be reconciled with God because an unreconciled soul loses true knowledge of God, untold bounds of grace, and the ability to understand right from wrong. The longer we’re left unreconciled—in a state of mortal sin—the more we will drown in depression, anxiety, anger, as well as other signs of separation from God. Even if we think we’re living a life united with Christ yet we still suffer depression, anxiety and all sorts of bitterness and misery, it’s due to our sin. It could be from either venial or mortal sin, but all fruits of sin (the unloving emotions we have) come from our offenses against God. Someone may be a thorn in our side, causing us pain, but if we aren’t at peace with our suffering it’s because we are lacking in grace, which is due to our sins.
Getting to the root of our problems—our sins—and why we’re suffering the consequences of sins, as well as the underlying problems which are causing us to commit those offenses to begin with, needs to be brought to light so we can develop strategies to rid our lives of the offenses we commit against God. Confession, God’s way of helping us to eradicate our sins, is the beginning of the life of joy we are looking for. Read the book How to Find a Life of Joy in a World of Sorrow, which gives simple ways for us to examine our conscience, so we can pinpoint the underlying sins causing the despair we suffer, to enable us to “find a life of joy.” Click here to read our Examination of Conscience guide, successfully proven to bring awareness of sins so we can confess them, strive to sin no more, and draw closer to Christ so we can truly trust in God’s mercy.
REPEATING SINS HURTS
If we’ve been forgiven of our sins—yet we go straight back to committing those same mortal sins—we put ourselves back into a state of spiritual death. We will never overcome the sorrows in our lives if we continue to sin. The signs of sin (whether venial or mortal) are evident: unloving thoughts or behaviors, complaining, lack of patience, anger, frustration, lust, selfishness, etc. We need to take these signs seriously, look to see where it is that we are offending God, and make the effort to change. This depression is a consequence of our sins, which bring upon us a lack of trust and makes us unwilling to suffer with Christ (pick us our cross and follow Him) since it takes supernatural grace (sanctifying grace) to suffer out of love and to trust in God. When we are dead in our sins (not united with God) or even suffering from many venial sins, the grace we could have has been pushed away by our sins, leaving us full of despair and confusion—which leads to never ending pain. Therefore, we must resolve to no longer offend God with any sins, because all sin hurts.
ANGUISH NO MORE
You no longer need to live in anguish. God is calling you to Him, through the sacrament of reconciliation—the healing sacrament. Not only will you learn how to suffer joyfully but God will heal you in countless ways through your trust in Him, giving you the ability to understand everything that happens is within God’s wonderful plan for you, so that you can learn from these things and grow closer to Him. Since God loves you so much, He would never allow you to suffer any affliction that wasn’t for your good and for the salvation of your soul. That is what trust is. If we understood everything, then that wouldn’t be faith. Faith is trusting in what you don’t understand, in a God who loves you. God will give you the ability—through grace—to learn from your suffering, and even to remove that suffering completely, if He wills it. Through perseverance in prayer and trust, and by modifying your life to obey God’s commands, you will begin to see and feel the changes within you. Every moment of your life you have the potential to grow and learn God’s ways—especially through suffering. All this change, which you could have, is found in the sacrament of reconciliation.
The sacrament of reconciliation is so beautiful that it can transform the contrite (sorrowful) heart completely. All you need is the desire to change because you love God and don’t want to offend Him with your sins. God will then help you along that challenging path of salvation—the road to happiness. First, however, you must examine your conscience (look at your life’s choices). See our insightful Examination of Conscience as a guide to help you. This is a process that will take some time, but if you’re open you’ll develop a much better awareness of your sins, which is vitally important since you can’t correct something if you don’t know that it’s wrong to begin with. God will help you if you persistently and daily work toward knowing your offenses, ask for forgiveness—and believe in that forgiveness, pray with gratitude for help, be patient with yourself, and frequent the sacrament of reconciliation where you can rejoice in the mercy and grace God will give you on your journey towards perfection. As you rid yourself of your sins, through God’s help, you’ll realize you are more joyful, willing to tolerate imperfections, and even at peace during suffering. As you sin less, not only will you receive grace from the sacrament of reconciliation, but when you receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist your soul will be much more pure and able to receive an abundance of grace there as well. Every day that you choose good over evil, God will richly bless you. The Blessed Sacrament is an incredible gift for the pure of heart who wish to bask in God’s love. Your entire life will turn into such a blessing of great joy that you’ll want to go to the rooftops and tell the world what God has done for you.
Read about what St. Pope John Paul II says the church needs to do to revitalize reconciliation to bring joy and salvation to God’s children.
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