Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God. ~ Venerable Fulton Sheen
Hello! I’m Christie, The Joy Filled Catholic. I am a faith-filled Catholic, a wife, a mom, and a freelance writer and digital marketer. However, those are only a few things that describe me.
I used to say that I was born Catholic, but I actually became Catholic when I was baptized at 3 months of age. I had open heart surgery when I was just 15 months old and have had no other complications since. Of course, I don’t remember that time very well, but I can tell the story like I do 🙂
My family knew that I was very close to death and, that at that time, most people with my condition did not survive. But I did! I’m told that I’m even listed in medical books for surviving. I won’t bore you with all the details – but my family has always told that I am a “miracle”. That there is a reason God wants me here.
I gotta tell you though, for most of my life, I sure didn’t feel that way. What could I offer to the world? What could someone like me have to offer any one – let alone God?
I attended CCD all through grade school. In the 7th grade, after realizing quite quickly that I wasn’t junior high material (it scared the heck out of me to be honest), I transferred to the Catholic, K-8th, school next door. After graduating, I went to the Catholic high school where I graduated after four years. I did all the “normal” Catholic kid stuff – but I didn’t realize (or even really care) how ignorant I was about my faith.
I was a pretty good kid who made dumb decisions from time to time. As I got older the decisions seemed to get dumber and become more frequent. Maybe I’ll tell that story some time, but let’s just say that after high school graduation, my sin pushed me further away from everything I once held dear. Most of the things I did during that time did absolutely nothing to honor God, myself, or my family. I felt so very lost, for such a long time. I hardly recognized who I was most of the time but didn’t know how to stop the craziness. I thought I would have to give up everything I ever hoped and dreamed for my future. I was sure that I was doomed for one failure after another.
But God never gave up on me – even when I had nearly given up and resigned myself to a very unhappy existence. Thankfully, throughout my life a lot of good, wonderful, and fruitful seeds had been planted and they started to finally take root and grow. And boy did they grow!
The Lord is Merciful INDEED!
Fast forward a decade or so, and I am now living the life I always dreamed of. Is every day filled with rainbows and unicorns? Nope! First of all, I have boys and according to them, that stuff isn’t allowed in the house 🙂 Second of all, that’s not reality. However, I will say that by repenting, changing my life, listening to the urging of the Holy Spirit, seeking God, and always striving to know, love and appreciate Jesus each and every day, I am filled with a peace and joy that I have never, ever experienced in my entire life!
Today, I am so very honored and proud to call myself a Catholic, not just in the cultural sense as I once did, but because I know all of the teachings of the Catholic Church to be TRUE. I now realize that I don’t get to pick and choose which ones I think sound good anymore. I no longer say things like, “I’m Catholic BUT I don’t really agree with any of their ‘rules’…blah, blah blah.” Oh, that makes me cringe to even think I uttered those words in my heart and out of my mouth!
I will be sharing my story, my continuing journey and resources that have helped guide me, and continue to do so. My hope is that you will find something here that helps in your journey as well.