GeE 122: Joy And A Sense Of Humor

See the source imageNo surprise that Pope Francis would write extensively about “Joy And A Sense Of Humor,” the topic of the next several paragraphs.

122. Far from being timid, morose, acerbic or melancholy, or putting on a dreary face, the saints are joyful and full of good humor. Though completely realistic, they radiate a positive and hopeful spirit.

The angelic doctor weighs in for us:

The Christian life is “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 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”.[Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 70, a. 3] Having received the beautiful gift of God’s word, we embrace it “in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 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!” (Philippians 4:4).

In Pope Francis’ experience as a Jesuit, he would have encountered joy as a gift of the final days of the Spiritual Exercises. A believer who sees herself or himself as close to Jesus will enter into the events of his life. Just as we can experience sorrow for sin, and deep emotions for the Passion, so too we will find ourselves enveloped in the joy of the Resurrection, and joy for the mission to which we are called.

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to GeE 122: Joy And A Sense Of Humor

  1. Liam says:

    Well, I am not sure the saints are/were *FULL* of good humor, but Hope in Providential benevolence can anchor a habit of joy albeit not necessarily happiness. Happiness in my usage is a transitory emotional state (fear is an opposite example of that), while joy is more of fundamental attitude or habitual perspective (anxiety is an opposite example of that). Hope is key. (And expectation is a different thing from hope.)

    The faith that I love best, says God, is hope.
    Faith doesn’t surprise me.
    It’s not surprising.
    I am so resplendent in my creation. . . .

    That in order really not to see me these poor people would have to be blind.
    Charity says God, that doesn’t surprise me.
    It’s not surprising.
    These poor creatures are so miserable that unless they had a heart of stone, how could they not have love for one another. . . .

    But hope, says God, that is something that surprises me.
    Even me.
    That is surprising.
    That these poor children see how things are going and believe that tomorrow things will go better.
    That they see how things are going today and believe that they will go better tomorrow morning.
    That is surprising and it’s by far the greatest marvel of our grace.
    And I’m surprised by it myself. . . .

    This little girl hope who seems like nothing at all. . . .

    The little hope moves forward between her two older sisters [Faith and Charity] and one scarcely notices her . . . the little hope pushes on. . . .

    Faith sees what is. . . .

    Charity loves what is. . . .

    Hope sees what has not yet been and what will be.
    She loves what has not yet been and what will be.

    — Charles Peguy, excerpts from his book-length poem The Portal of the Mystery of Hope (translated from the French by David L. Schindler, Jr.) (c) Eerdmans 1996

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