Letter 1 - Choose Joy

Hey girl, heyyyy. It’s me, your Aunt B. (Yes everyone, I do go by Aunt B, just like from Mayberry, and no, I’ve never heard that joke before!) I’ve got some things I want you to know, and I hope they’ll be encouragement for you.

Today, I wanted to remind you to choose joy. Life is literally always going to be filled with challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't be joyful. Happiness is actually a pretty fickle thing. By definition, in fact, happy means "fortunate and convenient." Let me tell you how many times life will be fortunate or convenient...not very many!

We can't control life, and what it throws at us. But JOY, on the other hand, now that is a choice. It's up to us how we handle things...we can either pout, or be joyful. Which would you rather be?

Let me tell you about St. Rita of Cascia. She is the patron saint of impossible situations. Despite wanting to be a nun as a child, she was married off by her parents at age 12 to a cruel and abusive man. She had two sons, and despite her situation, chose joy and loved all three men. Eventually, with much prayer, her husband converted to the Catholic faith, and changed his ways. However, soon after, her husband and sons died.

She had every reason to be bitter and angry. And yet, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she entered a convent and was blessed with great grace from God. Her prayers brought about many miracles for the faithful around her. She is, in fact, one of the incorruptible saints of the Church. That means that her body is still whole in it’s human form, even hundreds of years after her death.

I’ve included a prayer for joy below. It’s a real good one to keep around.

Prayer To Reach Out With Joy

Father, our source of life,
you know our weakness.
May we reach out with joy to grasp your hand
and walk more readily in your ways.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Don't strive for happiness in this life, because that depends on other people or things, and they will always let you down. Instead, find joy in every day. And when you figure out how to do all that, let me know because I'm still nowhere near there ;)

Love you,

Aunt B