Monday, September 24, 2018

Rejoice and Be Glad - n. 127




JOY AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR

127. With the love of a father, God tells us: “My son, treat yourself well... Do not deprive yourself of a happy day” (Sir 14:11.14). He wants us to be positive, grateful and uncomplicated: “In the day of prosperity, be joyful... God created human beings straightforward, but they have devised many schemes” (Eccl 7:14.29). Whatever the case, we should remain resilient and imitate Saint Paul: “I have learned to be content with what I have” (Phil 4:11). Saint Francis of Assisi lived by this; he could be overwhelmed with gratitude before a piece of hard bread, or joyfully praise God simply for the breeze that caressed his face.

© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rejoice and Be Glad - Week 21 in Review


Congratulations on completing Week 21 of The Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate!  To review this past week's readings, see below:


APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE

OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS 

ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS
IN TODAY’S WORLD



PERSEVERANCE, PATIENCE AND MEEKNESS

121. To act in this way presumes a heart set at peace by Christ, freed from the aggressiveness born of overweening egotism. That same peacefulness, the fruit of grace, makes it possible to preserve our inner trust and persevere in goodness, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23:4) or “a host encamp against me” (Ps 27:3). Standing firm in the Lord, the Rock, we can sing: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8). Christ, in a word, “is our peace” (Eph 2:14); he came “to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:79). As he told Saint Faustina Kowalska, “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my mercy”.[98] So let us not fall into the temptation of looking for security in success, vain pleasures, possessions, power over others or social status. Jesus says: “My peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace” (Jn 14:27).

JOY AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR

122. Far from being timid, morose, acerbic or melancholy, or putting on a dreary face, the saints are joyful and full of good humour. Though completely realistic, they radiate a positive and hopeful spirit. The Christian life is “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17), for “the necessary result of the love of charity is joy; since every lover rejoices at being united to the beloved… the effect of charity is joy”.[99] Having received the beautiful gift of God’s word, we embrace it “in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess 1:6). If we allow the Lord to draw us out of our shell and change our lives, then we can do as Saint Paul tells us: “Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4).

123. The prophets proclaimed the times of Jesus, in which we now live, as a revelation of joy. “Shout and sing for joy!” (Is 12:6). “Get you up to a high mountain, O herald of good tidings to Zion; lift up your voice with strength, O herald of good tidings to Jerusalem!” (Is 40:9). “Break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and he will have compassion on his afflicted” (Is 49:13). “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he” (Zech 9:9). Nor should we forget Nehemiah’s exhortation: “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (8:10).

124. Mary, recognizing the newness that Jesus brought, sang: “My spirit rejoices” (Lk 1:47), and Jesus himself “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Lk 10:21). As he passed by, “all the people rejoiced” (Lk 13:17). After his resurrection, wherever the disciples went, there was “much joy” (Acts 8:8). Jesus assures us: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy... I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn 16:20.22). “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11).

125. Hard times may come, when the cross casts its shadow, yet nothing can destroy the supernatural joy that “adapts and changes, but always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved”.[100] That joy brings deep security, serene hope and a spiritual fulfilment that the world cannot understand or appreciate.

126. Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humour. We see this clearly, for example, in Saint Thomas More, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Philip Neri. Ill humour is no sign of holiness. “Remove vexation from your mind” (Eccl 11:10). We receive so much from the Lord “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17), that sadness can be a sign of ingratitude. We can get so caught up in ourselves that we are unable to recognize God’s gifts.[101]

[98] Cf. Diary. Divine Mercy in My Soul, Stockbridge, 2000, p. 139 (300).

[99] THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 70, a. 3.

[100] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 6: AAS 105 (2013), 1221.

[101] I recommend praying the prayer attributed to Saint Thomas More: “Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it. Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumbling, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called ‘I’. Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke and to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others”.

© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rejoice and Be Glad - n. 126




JOY AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR

126. Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humour. We see this clearly, for example, in Saint Thomas More, Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Philip Neri. Ill humour is no sign of holiness. “Remove vexation from your mind” (Eccl 11:10). We receive so much from the Lord “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17), that sadness can be a sign of ingratitude. We can get so caught up in ourselves that we are unable to recognize God’s gifts.[101]

[101] I recommend praying the prayer attributed to Saint Thomas More: “Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it. Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumbling, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called ‘I’. Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke and to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others”.

© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Rejoice and Be Glad - n. 125




JOY AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR

125. Hard times may come, when the cross casts its shadow, yet nothing can destroy the supernatural joy that “adapts and changes, but always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved”.[100] That joy brings deep security, serene hope and a spiritual fulfilment that the world cannot understand or appreciate.

[100] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 6: AAS 105 (2013), 1221.

© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Rejoice and Be Glad - n. 124




JOY AND A SENSE OF HUMOUR

124. Mary, recognizing the newness that Jesus brought, sang: “My spirit rejoices” (Lk 1:47), and Jesus himself “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Lk 10:21). As he passed by, “all the people rejoiced” (Lk 13:17). After his resurrection, wherever the disciples went, there was “much joy” (Acts 8:8). Jesus assures us: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy... I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn 16:20.22). “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11).

© LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA.