Don’t worry about anything,
but pray about everything.
With thankful hearts offer up your prayers
and requests to God.

Philippians 4:6


On Joyful Giving
Meditate on Christ's words as we divulge into Joyful Giving: [7] Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. 
[8] For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
Joy versus Happiness
For most, joy and happiness means the same thing. However, the two are actually quite different. We all strive for happiness in everything we do or wish to do. 
We often work diligently to try to obtain some form of happiness whether it be in our work or play, with family or friends. Although, joy is often misunderstood and rarely the object of our goals.
In fact, if joy was something we all strived for above happiness then happiness would naturally form as opposed to chasing happiness. Let me explain, happiness is fleeting (at least while we walk the earth) while genuine joy holds greater longevity. In the same way a chocolate bar would give me great happiness, 
I could easily lose my happiness if I eat too much chocolate and sour my stomach. On the other hand, joy for example could be something as waking up at 3 am to tender to a crying infant.
Now does waking up that early in the morning cause me to be happy? Most likely not but it does give joy because it is your child reminding you it is dependent 
upon your love and care.
Joy is something that is not in passing but long lived if properly formed and guided by wisdom; for happiness can be misguided and even deformed to take pleasure in the things that are not good nor holy.
Therefore, happiness can be good as long as it is centered in obtaining true joy first and in order for joy to 
be genuine, it must be for the glory of God!
"The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy." - Ecclesiasticus 1:11

To Give to him that Asks
We can often fall victim to the world and its treasures so as to forget those around us. Those in need whether it be of food, clothing, or even companionship. 
Our Lord Jesus has told us to not withhold from those in need but rather do all that we can to be generous in what God has given freely to us. 
"[30] Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.[31] And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner." Luke 6:30-31
And for those that give with gladness in their hearts give God honor and glory as He gave with great gladness to you who at a time or times were without.
As the rain 
falls to quench the thrist of a bone-dry land so also Our Lord satisfies us with His gifts of faith, hope, and charity.
This is why above all we should pray for the necessary graces to obtain joy in order that we may fulfill His will in us and by us fully. 
A Friendly Warning
For we who dare to follow after Christ must consider these things.
That whether those that have much or little they are to with joy give. This command from Our Lord 
stems from a profound spiritual truth regarding all that we have received. 
"[8]...freely have you received, freely give."
So it is necessary that we extend the same courtesy to one another since there is so much God has given us!
We would do well to remember 'what we reap, we shall sow', 
as Christ said, "[8] For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap.
For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth 
in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. [9] And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing. [10] Therefore, whilst we have time, 
let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith." - Galatians 6:8-10
The Power of Giving 
In truth, it is better to give than receive. But why is that? How can it be that giving is better than getting? Very simple, it is the purpose of healing one another that we give.
Keep in mind that not all acts of giving to one another has to be materialistic either! There are times in our lives where what is most needed is a friend, someone to listen, to minister to, or to pray with.
" [17] Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17
However, we must not forget that while spiritual and emotional 'giving' is profoundly important but also vital is that which maintains the body.
As the Book of James says, 
"[16] And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?" - James 2:16
I Give so that I may Receive
I have once heard a beautiful phrase, '99.99% of the time, we will never see the face of God while we walk this earth, but all people Can see Christ in you by what you do.'
This is why giving is so powerful because even the smallest gesture of goodwill can be enough for a poor soul to convert to Christ's Church.Let me also say that I choose to give to others so that I may receive from God. Now, this may sound selfish but actually it isn't. Of course the purpose of giving to assist the one in need and to care most their condition rather than your own.
This goes without saying however as Catholics we hold fast to the Lord who is faithful in rewarding us for our fidelity to His 
merciful wishes.
In the same way, when we think of the Our Father prayer, we make mention "forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive others". So in our effort to be forgiven 
we must first forgive others.
Ultimately, my goal is eternal salvation and because there are so many paths that lead to Jesus, it is in giving with joy that brings not only true happiness but favor from Him who gave you life...freely.
Jesus Bless You All

Nicola Kanaan


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