Called to be Joyful – Part I

Our Lay Canossians in Albuquerque held their annual retreat, choosing for their theme, “Called to be Joyful in a Joyless World.” This year’s retreat was recorded so that it could be shared with our brother and sister Lay Canossians in other areas of our Province.

Here is a brief introduction. You will find the audio link below. Enjoy!

The purpose of choosing the theme, on joy, came about due to several things:

  • At the last General Chapter of the Canossian Sisters set their plan for the next six years to journey with the theme, “Joyful and Prophetic Witnesses, so that the World may Believe.”
  • At the time the Chapter Sisters were finishing their sessions, Pope Francis’ encyclical Evangelii Gaudium was released. These themes truly appeared to be the work of the Holy Spirit in their timing, that the Sisters were able to tie into their post-chapter work some of the encyclical’s encouragement to live joyfully as prophetic witnesses.
  • The preparation for the Lay Canossian Association’s International Congress – to take place in July 2016 – was also underway. And because we are a Canossian Lay Institute, with the desire to journey with our charismatic family have selected the theme of the Congress: “Inspice et Fac: In the Heart of the World with the Joy of the Gospel.” 

We were privileged to have Sister Lisa Marie Doty, FdCC give our retreat on joy. We hope you enjoy the conferences as much as we did!

Part One of the three-part Retreat gives an overview and introduction to the context of what joy is and what it isn’t.

To begin, the retreatants were asked to make two lists:

  1. List the things you see in the world today that depress you, anger you, sadden you. You may try to think of things on three levels: personal – community – global.
  2. List where you have found goodness in the world.

In Part I, Sister Lisa Marie mentions a Handout on Sacred Scripture and Joy.

Take a moment and find a quiet place, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit, and click the arrow to begin…

Sr. Lisa Marie Doty entered as a postulant with the Canossian Sisters on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1998. After three years of initial formation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she made her First Profession of vows in 2001. She completed her studies in philosophy and pastoral theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) graduating with a bachelors degree in sacred theology and a masters in pastoral theology.

She currently serves as the Provincial Animator of the Association of Lay Canossians for the Province of Cristo Rey, North America, while serving as Director of Youth and Young Adults at Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Lenten Preparation

As Lent quickly approaches (February 22!), the topic has come up in our February round of Lay Canossian meetings: 

‘What spiritual practices should we take on during the season of Lent?’

Many voices have agreed, it’s not enough to ‘give up’ something, like we did as kids denying ourselves the pleasure of our favorite candy bar. As we grow in our spiritual life, we are called to take to heart the words in 1 Corinthians 13:11:

“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.”

So then, what is appropriate spiritual practice for a mature Catholic during the weeks of Lent? I will start our discussion here with a few suggestions, and I encourage all of you to add to the discussion below in the comments section.

So let’s get started!

1. Prayer

  • Set up a regular time of prayer each day, and a place where you will not be distracted by TV, computer, or phone. Set an amount of time for your prayer, and stay faithful.
  • Take part in the Friday Stations of the Cross at your parish. Use the time driving to the parish as a time asking God to prepare your heart to meet Him on the way to Calvary.
  • Pray the Seven Sorrows of Mary (I will link the Seven Sorrows this week)
  • Other Recommendations?

2. Sacraments

Use the time of Lent to grow closer to Jesus in the Sacraments.

  • Spend time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, meditating on His True Presence.
  • Go more often to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, remembering this too is an encounter with Christ.
  • Receive Holy Communion more often.
  • Other Ideas?

3.  Service – how to share your time with those in need.

  • visit the sick, feed the hungry, encourage the downhearted. Review the Church’s spiritual and corporal works of mercy and practice one a week.
  • call to mind often the many ways that you can daily serve the Lord in your family. Grow daily in your intention to do so.
  • is there a ministry you’ve been thinking about getting involved in? look into it this Lent.

One other practice we discussed in a couple of the groups was, to think about a vice – or bad habit – you might have that you would like to change, and put into practice the corresponding virtue.

Here are the seven “deadly” sins (vices) paired with their corresponding “heavenly” virtue. All other vices will fall somewhere under one of these seven. For example, anger (wrath) calls us to practice patience. For more information on these, you can click the links below, or go here for virtues and vice.

Vice Latin Virtue Latin
Lust Luxuria Chastity Castitas
Gluttony Gula Temperance Temperantia
Greed Avaritia Charity Caritas
Sloth Socordia Diligence Industria
Wrath Ira Patience Patientia
Envy Invidia Kindness Humanitas
Pride Superbia Humility Humilitas

AND, lastly, don’t forget about our Lenten Retreat with Rev. Father Jeremy Leatherby! Find out more here!

Remember, all of the above are only suggestions!  It is not expected that someone try and do ALL of these (that would be too much!). It is best to take one or two things – perhaps that you know will help you grow spiritually – and focus on them.

Our Foundress, Saint Magdalene would tell you, ‘there is enough penance in living our life well that we don’t have to take on harsh penances‘. Each of us is different, and so our Lenten practice must reflect where we know we need to grow the most.

Now, I’ll turn it over to YOU!  What above are you going to try? And/or, what other things do you have planned to make your Lent a meaningful one?

United in Prayer,

Sr Lisa Marie : )