Joy and hope are so closely intertwined. Both are about the expectation of good. Hope, informed by the love of God, places its emphasis on the positive. Joy is the passion excited by that emphasis, that expectation.
Those who are strangers to the joy of hope are strangers to the sweetest fruits of spiritual life. Those who are drawn in devotion to St. Jude have a head start on joy, because we know, embrace, and live that special gift of hope and joy from our Patron. We relish God’s love and joy as our faith and hope are increased in devotion.
Joy in God overflows with love for others. Devotional prayer is fundamentally an expression of love, with its built-in energy of expansion of hope. Joyful hope in God grows as it is extended through prayer and action into the lives of other people so they can share in it.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
(1 John 4:8)
Devotion is a part of intentional acceptance of joy. To accept is to consent to receive, and we give our consent to receive God’s ever-present love and joy whenever we seek hope in prayer. We ask the Holy Spirit to bring the fruit of joy in our hearts, in our work, in our relationships. In turn we are transformed into a person marked by joy, and a person others are drawn to for our steadiness in life’s changing waters.
The path to hope and joy in God’s love is not complicated, especially on the path of devotion. The more time we spend in the presence of God on a consistent basis, the more gratitude we cultivate and the more of God’s joy we’ll experience.