As we journey a week closer to feast week we prepare reflecting on our theme through the prayer of Pope Francis which speaks of Mary filled with the Presence of Christ radiating Joy to John and Elisabeth and in Praise to God.
What can help us experience Christ like Mary and radiate the Joy of the Gospel?Saint (Pope) John XXIII wrote that one of the ten necessary things to do every day was 10 minutes of Spiritual reading followed by 10 minutes of quiet reflec-tion on what is read. I find this spiritual reading helps me to centre and find the presence of God in my day and to feel the joy of Christ’s presence.
Very often the spiritual reading contains a strong and encouraging point to strengthen my faith and trust in God for the day and for a challenging circum-stance I might be facing. It gives me a positive thought for the day for my daily Mass, for conversations and people asking for support,
This week our Parish Gift shop has been re-stocked with some good books for spiritual reading with such books as Inner Freedom by Fr Jacques Phillipe; Hope for Hard Times and A Father who keeps his Promises by Dr Scott Hahn; Behold the Beauty of the Lord by Henri Nouwen; Finding True Happiness by Fulton Sheen; Pope Francis by Matthew E. Bunson and many more such as Return of the Prodigal Son.
I really encourage parishioners to take up this practice of 10 minutes of spiritual reading every day. So, pick a spiritual book from the Gift Shop and take up Pope John XXIII’s suggestion especially as we prepare for Feast Week theme of the joy of the Gospel that way like Mary we can Radiate Joy to others through our awareness of the presence of Christ in us. We can also recommend books and CD’s to others in our circle of family friends and work colleagues. Let us add this to our spiritual practice of our faith and we can pray with Pope Francis….
Mary, Filled with Christ’s presence, you brought joy to John the Baptist, making him exult in the womb of his mother. Brimming over with joy, you sang of the great things done by God. Standing at the foot of the cross with unyielding faith, you received the
joyful comfort of the resurrection, and joined the disciples
in awaiting the Spirit so that the evangelizing Church might be born.
Mary, Mother of Christ, pray for us.