Driving to work, a shiny new black corvette pulled up beside me. It was not the car that caught my attention but the license plate. The plate read “Godjoy.”  I think Godjoy captures the spirit of Lent. Lent is the penitential season and hopefully we have found the right rhythm for our prayer, fasting and alsmgiving.  We are sinners who forget at times that we have been saved and when we forget that we fall back into our old ways.

The faces of the saved

The past two Sundays there was lots of Godjoy in the Archdiocese as we celebrated the Rite of  Election and the Call to Conitnuing Conversion. Gathered in the huge upper church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception were 1,192 people who are seeking to become Catholics or to complete the sacraments of initiation. 1,192 faces with smiles of pure Godjoy.  Together, with their sponsors they filled the Shrine and in the presence of Archbishop Wuerl and the auxiliary bishops of Washington, the sponsors announced these catechumens and candidates ready to receive the sacraments to initiation at Easter.

Sorrowful Joy

Another expression of Godjoy during Lent is found in the music of African-American Spirituals. Sometimes described as songs of sorrowful joy, they capture the spirit of Lent. Even in the misery of slavery and oppression, African-Americans, like the Israelites before them  found a joy in knowing God has not abandoned them and only God will save them.  Their song becomes the song of all sons and daughters of God.

God comes looking for us

At the Rite of Election, one Spiritual we sang is called Somebody’s Knockin at Your Door and it captures the Godjoy of the Spirituals and of Lent. We are not sinners with nowhere to turn, and the very act of turning is not our initiative but the spirit of God within us calling us back to our deepest joy-right relationship with God.  Take a moment to listen.


4 Replies to ““GodJoy””

  1. Great post! I have been listening to quite a few European symphonic rock bands lately that are also Christian. One song I listen to is called the Truth Beneath the Rose by Within Temptation. This song is about how holy wars have torn people apart, and how a person of faith can question their faith at times. It’s a song that makes me realize that sometimes I have some deep reflecting to do on my faith and my sins.

    Another good one for Lent by Within Temptation is called “Our Solemn Hour”. Opening lyrics go, “Sanctus espiritus, redeem us from our solemn hour.” Within Temptation seems to have a hopeful, but at times a sorrowful vibe in their songs. Their songs are good if you need to reflect on some deep, and maybe sorrowful things.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions, I will look for them both! sorrow does carry with it, its own grace.

  3. I learned this song as a little girl. It’s one of my favorites. Thank you for posting it.

  4. Sing a Te Deum, at least an Anthem. A bishop who is actnig as the chief liturgist of a diocese with a competency beyond lace, damask mitre and a magna cappa. I hope a trend will ensue. Not only is such order the norm of Christian initiation, it is just a mistake pedagogically and catechetically to try to engage youths as turbulent teens when MTV is more formative than their CCD class and a confirmation retreat. Confirmation will stop being the opt out clause it has become and the pastorally motivated can focus on normal Christian nurturing to see young adults and what sense of Christian identity they might have through the turbulent years of identity formation.

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