Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You and Your family are well and ready for Christmas. Today is Gaudete Sunday—a day of rejoicing and gladness in the heart of the Advent journey. Today we light the third, rose-coloured candle on the Advent wreath.
Today I’d like to draw your thoughts away from the Sunday newspapers and Brexit, away from the Christmas To Do List and fattening mince pies, away from your daily worries and bills, and towards today, the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
For today is a day to rejoice. Not just a day for happiness but one for joy. This day takes its common name from the Latin word Gaudete (“Rejoice”), the first word of the introit of this day’s Mass:
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione et obsecratione cum gratiarum actione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.
This may be translated as: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.” (Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1)
What’s the difference between happiness and joy?
Theologian Henri Nouwen described the difference between joy and happiness. While happiness is dependent on external conditions, joy is “the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing – sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death – can take that love away.” Thus joy can be present even in the midst of sadness. This is apt for what we have experienced this year.
I ask You to be joyful today. Look around at the positives. Get excited about the future and prepare for Christmas mentally as well as materially, joyfully.
Have a wonderful Sunday and a peaceful week. God bless You and Your family.
“With our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, with our whole strength and fortitude, with our whole understanding, with all our powers, with every effort, every affection, every feeling, every desire and wish, let us love the Lord God. Who has given and gives to each one of us our whole body, our whole soul and our whole life, who has created, redeemed and will save us by His mercy alone, Who did and does everything good for us.”
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi