April 2020 Edition Now Available – Preview HERE
Dear Friends in Christ,
All throughout the Easter season, joy is a central theme and the call to “rejoice for joy” (Isa. 66:10), which we hear on Laetare Sunday (Fourth in Lent, Introit), reverberates powerfully in light of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The Gradual for Holy Mass on Easter Sunday and throughout the Octave of Easter places on our lips the following verse from the Psalms: “This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 117:24).
And yet, amidst the difficulties and “cares of this life” (Luke 21:34), we often find it difficult to truly “[r]ejoice in the Lord always” (Philip. 4:4). How do we transcend our anxieties about whatever it is that worries us – the state of the Church and the world, family discord, health concerns, financial trouble, etc. – and experience the joy of the Lord?
Our Lord Himself gave us the key during His Last Supper discourse:
“As the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; as I also have kept My Father’s commandments, and do abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled” (John 15:9-11).
The more we grow in our exercise of charity, by loving God and our neighbor as Jesus taught us, the more firmly we will abide in His love and be filled with His joy. Our lives on earth will still involve suffering, for it is “through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21); but the same Lord Who commands us to take up our cross daily and follow Him (see Luke 9:23) also says: “Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened: and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28).
Truly, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (2 Esd. 8:10) and our refreshment in this vale of tears. One man who understood and lived this truth was John Vennari (RIP), our longtime editor and dear friend, who departed this life three years ago this month. Whether he was dissecting a serious subject at a conference or chatting privately with friends, John always managed to maintain a joyful spirit and good humor. This was no doubt because he knew and firmly believed that “the sufferings of this time,” whether ecclesial or personal, “are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). May he rest in peace.
With the joy of the Resurrection fresh in mind and heart, please consider supporting our apostolate by subscribing or renewing your current subscription to Catholic Family News. With your help, we will keep John Vennari’s legacy alive and continue publishing content that boldly and joyfully defends the treasures of Catholic Tradition. We hope to hear from you soon!
Sincerely in the Risen Christ,
Matt Gaspers, Managing Editor