Amoris Laetitia 126: Joy and Beauty

amoris laetitia memeJoy and beauty: seems like the themes of the current and retired pope respectively.

In speaking of joy, let’s be sure to distinguish between this quality and simple happiness. Joy strikes me as an Ignatian quality, something that will draw a person to a deeper fulfillment. Not just immediate gratification.

126. In marriage, the joy of love needs to be cultivated. When the search for pleasure becomes obsessive, it holds us in thrall and keeps us from experiencing other satisfactions. Joy, on the other hand, increases our pleasure and helps us find fulfilment in any number of things, even at those times of life when physical pleasure has ebbed. Saint Thomas Aquinas said that the word “joy” refers to an expansion of the heart.(Cf. Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 31, art. 3., ad 3) Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow; it involves accepting that marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another: “they help and serve each other”.(Gaudium et Spes 48)

A married person can struggle with her or his spouse, and yet still gaze on the partner and believe that in shared struggle and mutual service, they will persist on their chosen path.

Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Amoris Laetitia 126: Joy and Beauty

  1. Liam says:

    Makes me think of the following hymn by Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ (1857 – 1914), normally set to the lovely Irish tune DOMHNACH TRIONOIDE ( D – trochaic – also used for Those Who Love and Those Who Labo(u)r); COLUMCILLE is the same tune in a notional but in fact irregular meter):

    Spirit seeking light and beauty,
    Heart that longest for thy rest,
    Soul that asketh understanding,
    Only thus can ye be blest.
    Thro’ the vastness of creation
    Tho’ your restless thought may roam,
    God is all that you can long for,
    God is all his creatures’ home.

    Taste and see him, feel and hear him,
    Hope and grasp his unseen hand;
    Tho’ the darkness seem to hide him,
    Faith and love can understand.
    God, who lovest all thy creatures,
    All our hearts are known to thee;
    Lead us thro’ the land of shadows
    To thy blest eternity.

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