Rejoicing in the Lord is a source of strength. As we strive to discipline ourselves and convert from sin, it is easy to be distracted by our failures and weaknesses. Shame is a heartless task master and our inadequacies are often easier to find than Divine Providence. Yet, God is always there for us - more present to us than we are to ourselves, anxious that we might not delay, but God home. What most defines who we are is not our voids, or foolishness, or inability to meet the ideals that we set for ourselves. The holiness of God is not a mystery that lends itself to our efforts at idealization. It is pure gift, freely given, from a Divine Wellspring of inexhaustible love and concern - ours for the asking, if only we will ask with humility and love. Rather than caving into anxiety or depression because we do not measure up to the bar we have set to ourselves - climb out of the mud of self-pity. Turn away from the pigsty of self-accusation. Rebuke the inner voices that would have you believe that God is not waiting for you to come home. Instead, search for God whose gentle voice calls to you in the silence of prayer. He watches for your coming and awaits you with an immense joy. Set out under the Standard of the Cross and let the Good Shepherd's rod and staff guide you home. Enter through the Gate of faith in Christ and find shelter under the banner of love. Let the Father welcome you with rings and robes and lead you into the feast He has prepared for you. Nothing has been held back. Everyone is invited. Rejoice that your brother has made his way back to life too - for in the Father's house, there is no more reason for sorrow.