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God, Give Me a Joyful Spirit

"And He who sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new."

-Revelation 21:5

It was 6:00am and my alram was going off. I heard it. I got up, hit the off button and went back to sleep. It was dark, cold and I think it was raining outside instead of snowing. It was January and all I wanted was my warm bed. I am not a morning person and when it is dark outside at 6am, I can't physically get up. Fast forward four months to April (the month we are in right now), sunrise is now at 5:50am. When my alarm goes off, I hear it but I don't turn it off. Instead, I listent to the birds chirping. I look out the window and see colors of pink and purple in the sky through the trees. What a beautiful sight I think to myself. The spring time is so much easier to get up at 6:00am than in the winter. I am able to get up and feel refreshed. Are there other people out there like me who struggle to get up in the dark? I am sure there are. As a human race, I think we all respond better to light.

Spring has sprung and the weather is getting warmer. Grass is growing and flowers are blooming. This is such an awesome time of the year, because new life is starting and new beginnings are happening. Birds find places to nest and bring forth new life. This is also a time in the church of First Communions, Confirmation, and Weddings. It's a very joyous time of year. Easter was celebrated a little over a week ago but the day we celebrated Jesus' resurrection still continues in the Church. Right now, it's the Easter Season which is fifty days. After the 50 days, is Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the upper room. During this Easter season, the church celebrates each Sunday, as it was on Easter with singing the Gloria, priest vestments are in white, and the Alleluia is accompanied in the antiphons and dismissal at mass.

WIth spring time, people usually do a cleaning of their house, get out the patio furniture and do outside projects. This time of year is also similiar to the beginning of the year. Usually at the beginning of the year, people make New Years resolutions because there is something in their life that they want to change and make new. However, statistics show that many people don't follow through with their resolutions and give up. One study that was done reported 80% of people failed at keeping their New Years Resolutions. Wonder why that is? People set their expectations too high. People who fail to keep New Years Resolutions also try to go-it-alone. So, what does New Years Resolutions have to do with Spring time and Easter? They are both centered on "Renewal." The definition of renewal is to resume to a state or activity after an interruption. It also means repairing something that is worn out or broken. It means a time to begin again, to make things new.

If you are thinking of making a change, now is the time. This time of year is just right for new beginings; for a new start. The good news is that you don't have to do it alone. Inviting God into your new begining is the first step. He is along side with you, coaching you, cheering you on. It's never too late to invite Him into your life. He is a very compassionate, understanding, loving, caring and a good father. He loves you beyond your imagination, even if you don't acknowledge Him. This love is so great, and so powerful that He gave up his life for you. He died on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. How awesome is that - that He overcame death so we could also have eternal life. When you invite Jesus into your life, you will become joyful, peaceful and more compassionate to others. It's life changing and it's for the better. We are children of the light and we respond well to light. Jesus said in John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness."

In Conclusion - Don't wait until your in the nursing home to come back to God. He wants you to enjoy this life and to enjoy it to the fullest. That means to live in joy, and peace which is of God. He gives us His spirit through the Sacraments and through the Eucharist. If you are tired, depressed and anxious about life, know that there is a God who loves you and wants to give you joy. During this Easter Season, this is just that right time to begin again, to make things new and ask God to give you a joyful spirit.

About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Faith Formation Director/Youth Minister and Lay Franscisan. If you would like her to give a talk/retreat at your parish or event, contact her at Her book "Love Changes Everything" is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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