I have collected a few quotes from the Saints, Scripture and fellow Christians to remind serious-minded Catholics to laugh. Somehow the average Catholic does not associate joy with holiness but believes holiness is synonymous with misery and suffering. However, suffering is not miserable when we are suffused with the love of God and filled with His Spirit. In this post, I will simply overwhelm you with quotes all affirming the fact that joy is at the core of our spirits when we live in, with, and through Christ.
“The joy of the Lord IS our strength” Neh:8:10. Even before Christ freed God’s people from sin and death and filled us with the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament proclaimed the reality of joy of the Lord.
St. Ignatius of Loyola understood the power of God’s joy when he invited believers to, “Laugh and grow strong.”
St. Teresa of Avila prayed, tongue in cheek,“From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord deliver us.” Apparently this saint had a delightful sense of humour; when a donkey through her into a stream of cold water with her heavy, sodden habit she yelled at God, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.”
St. John Vianney was not exaggerating when he said if we really understood what was happening at Mass, we would die of joy.
C.S. Lewis had an amusing way of describing Christian joy as the serious business of heaven.
Pope Francis radiates the joy of God and challenges us to embrace it and” have the courage to be happy.”
Pope St. John Paul reminds Catholics that God made us for JOY!
Yet the truth is each of us must choose to live in the Spirit. As Father Henri Nouwen explains, joy does not simply happen to us; we must choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
Copyright 2016 Melanie Jean Juneau
Images copyright 2016 Melanie Jean Juneau. All rights reserved.