Our "word" for the year: the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

As I mentioned back at the beginning of December (which for Catholics is actually the start of a new liturgical year), our motto or word for the year is actually 12 words: the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit.

For December, our word was CHARITY … which fit in so nicely with our Advent preparations, gift making/giving, and generally thinking of others before ourselves. We used a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1822)to help us focus our minds on what charity really means (much beyond our secular meaning of giving to the poor).

Here’s the card we posted on the top half of the refrigerator (because, after all, we spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, especially prepping for the holidays) so that by the end of December, we had ALL memorized this definition of charity:

December: Charity

Starting tomorrow, our word will change to JOY for the month of January … a fruit that has many facets, that has many great writers describing and explaining. Here are just a few of the quotes I looked to for our “fridge card”:
1. “Gaudete in Domino semper” (Phil 4:4)
2. Those who have encountered Christ in their own lives feel a serenity and joy in their hearts that no one and no situation can take from them. … True joy is not merely a passing state of mind or something that can be achieved with the person’s own effort; rather it is a gift, born from the encounter with the living Person of Jesus and, making room within ourselves, from welcoming the Holy Spirit who guides our lives. Pope Benedict XVI – ANGELUS Saint Peter’s Square , 11 December 2011
3. Joy is prayer … Joy is strength … Joy is love … Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta
4. Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. Leo Tolstoy

With dh’s help, we settled on taking a part of Pope Benedict’s lovely Angelus message, given in St. Peter’s Square on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent where we celebrate the joy of the season.

January: JOY

Do you choose a word or theme for your year? How do you embed it in the subconscious of the family members?

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