Thursday, May 26, 2011

St. Philip Neri -- the saint of joy, joy, joy, joy, joy down in his heart...

My new column at Patheos is a tribute to St. Philip Neri whose feast day the Church celebrates today. Here's an excerpt...

Philip’s witness reminds me that a sad saint really is a sad saint. In other words, if God loves you and you know it, kindly inform your face!
 St. Philip knew that, over time, the Christian needs to cultivate an attitude that was worthy of the long road to heaven:
 "Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life.  Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits."
 Did you ever meet someone whose laughter and love was contagious? This was St. Philip. 
 As I studied his life, I learned the secret to his joyous and fun reputation: an intimate relationship with Jesus whom he addressed repeatedly and spontaneously with childlike confidence in the One who could supply all.
 “Jesus, be a Jesus to me.”
 “I cannot love you unless you help me, my Jesus.”
 “My Jesus, if you want me, cut the fetters that keep me from you.”
 Read the rest.

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