Item #: 0997-8
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Author: John T. Catoir, JCD
Copyright: 2006
First Printed: 11-19-2005

"When the Mother of Jesus said, My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, she was acknowledging the Holy Spirit as the source of her Joy. How blessed and fortunate we are to have within us the very same Holy Spirit that was in Mary, the Mother of the Church, and our spiritual mother. As the People of God, we magnify the Lord, just as Mary did. This means that we too extend and expand the Life of Jesus by willingly carrying Him in our hearts. Scandals may come and go, but we carry on in spite of it all, hating the sin, but loving the sinner just as Jesus did. We survive and prosper because the Lord is with us. The People of God have been created for happiness. We have been called to live joyfully because of the knowledge of God’s love. The fact that we have scandals in the Church from time to time does not diminish the glory of our calling; not by one iota. The Church has survived so well for so long because God is with us and in us, and He will always be there for us until the end of time. This is why St. Paul urged us to celebrate life: Rejoice always and in all circumstances give thanks to the Lord, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." (From the Conclusion of the book).
One again, Father Catoir brings to this, his latest work on Joy, a hope-filled perspective from which to view the ups and downs, the victories and failures, the elation and the heartbreak of everyday life. He does not hesitate to credit the Holy Spirit’s gift of Joy for the Church’s — and indeed our own — survival.

About the Author: Former Director of The Christophers (1978-1995), manager for three years of Eva’s Village, a poverty program in Paterson, New Jersey, and Founder of St. Jude’s Media Ministry which from 1995 to the present has aired on 1025 radio stations from Maine to Hawaii, Father John T. Catoir is the author of several highly acclaimed titles also published by Alba House: God Delights in You (Spanish edition, Dios Se Complace en Ti), Enjoy the Lord and Enjoy Your Precious LifeWorld Religions; and Stations of the Cross for the New Millennium.

Book: 198 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8189-0997-9
Prod. Code: 0997-8


Reviews

          Father Catoir is familiar as the longtime director of The Christophers (1978-1995) and the founder of St. Jude Media Ministry which broadcasts on over 1000 radio stations. He is also the author of several books, many of which are about the joy and the happiness of being a Christian and a Catholic.
          The author acknowledges the difficulty of seeing joy in the Church sometimes and he cites the sex abuse scandals as having this adverse effect on many today. His perspective is the broader one in which he relates how and where joy can always be found. "The Church lives on, generation after generation, renewing itself, adding new members in an endless flow of joyful celebration." Startlingly realistic, the author looks at some of the darker times in our life and the Church but then he leads us on. "The joy of belonging to Christ far outweighs the pain of coexisting with notorious sinners."
          The author accepts the recurring theme of the Gospels to be forgiveness and love but he adds to these scripture themes, joy. He does a good job in showing us why it should be there. Each chapter of the book expands on the theme of joy in a particular way or situation. He writes about the joy of forgiveness, the joy of prayer, matrimony, surrender, and the Eucharist among other topics.
          All of the years spent in the communication and media professions have made Father Catoir a fluid and easily read author. The joy of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us must be restored and this book is a good start. It is recommended for personal reading particularly to those discouraged or dienchanted with the Church today. It should find a place in all parish libraries. --Arnold Rzepecki in the August 2006 issue of Library Today


In this attractive and well-written book, Father John Catoir reveals his talents as a spiritual mentor and guide, as well as a strong apologist for the Church. His message is that if Catholics wish to live a faith-filled and more effective life today, they must be full of joy. He points to Saint Paul who wrote, "Rejoice always" (1 Thess 5:16), merely reinforcing the promise of Jesus: "I have told you all these things that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete" (Jn 15:11). The first chapter of the book quotes G.K. Chesterton: "Joy is the gigantic secret of Christianity." Father Catoir then explains that Catholics must use the Spirit's gift of joy. In succeeding chapters he shows how joy can be extended throughout all Christian living. Joy, he affirms, is the enemy of evil, the antidote to the pessimism of the New Age movement, the essence of pure prayer, integral to living with a clear conscience, and the key to self-surrender. In a powerful final chapter, the author links the gift of joy to the Eucharist. Quoting the Second Vatican Council and recent popes, he reinforces the idea that the Eucharist is our truest blessing and "the source and summit of the Christian life" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, 11). In these times when many Catholics feel disheartened, it is a joy to read a book that offers a hope-filled perspective and describes how to be truly happy in life. --Norman J. Muckerman, C.SS.R. in Liguorian, April 2006

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