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Do You Lack Joy? The 3 Main Obstacles You Need to Remove


Your Grace Is Amazing

Click here to launch the slideshow

“Your grace is amazing and it makes my heart sing” … “And it is the one thing that truly sets me free.”

PJ Anderson has an extraordinary ability to connect with the public. His songs express a truly uncontainable joy. This video in particular communicates a happiness that’s contagious.

St. José Maria Escrivà used to say, “Do you lack joy? Think: Is there an obstacle between God and me? You’ll nearly always be able to guess what it is.”

“Your grace is amazing and it makes my heart sing” … “And it is the one thing that truly sets me free.”

PJ speaks of an amazing grace that makes one’s heart sing, the only thing that makes it free! The result is a strength and a hope that catapults him from one part of the world to another, witnessing to young people about his happiness.

Clearly we aren’t all called to hang onto our joy through music. But this song attests that we are all called to joy! Let’s commit ourselves now to removing the three main obstacles that stand between us and happiness.

The First Obstacle: Not Desiring Happiness

Desire moves the will, and the will is an exceptional engine we have at our disposal to achieve our dreams. Let us direct our will to seeking love in the little things. Let’s put all our energy into transforming little daily encounters — at work, with friends — at home, into great opportunities to love.

The Second Obstacle: Unbelief

Nothing is impossible for God! We often forget this. He is always present, and he reveals himself to everyone personally. He knows our deepest desires. He is rooting for us, and he wants our lives to be full. For him there are no favorites, only obstacles to remove.

Then, after putting aside all unbelief, let’s free ourselves from the third obstacle: fear.

Fear is distrusting God and being afraid of love, afraid to be tender and gentle, afraid of listening to a stranger at the bus stop because he needs to talk about his pain, the fear of inviting someone who’s alone to your home at Christmas. Maybe you were given a family, in part, so that you could share that joy with others.

Maybe you fear helping a young person find a job, or fear giving someone a job who perhaps isn’t really the most qualified but is the most needy. The fear of saying you’re sorry. The fear of phoning your brother when he’s really angry with you, and telling him: “I don’t care if you’re mad at me. I love you, you’re my brother.”

So when you lack joy, ask yourself: Do I believe in the power of God? Do I desire happiness? Am I open to love?

Let’s leave the final word to St. John Paul II: “Do not be afraid. Open, throw open the doors to Christ” for “it is Christ whom you seek when you dream of happiness!”

Costanza D’ardia

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