Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reflections on Joy

I just love when everything that I am studying/ reading/ listening to/ reflecting on is all pointing me towards the same these.  Well this is exactly what happened to me over the past few days.  Maybe I am being told that this is something that I need to study farther and work on in my own life.

The these that I am being pushed towards?  Joy
The joy of being Catholic.  The joy of creating a relationship with Our Lord.

Where it all started:  "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis
On page 44 in a letter from Screwtape to Wormwood Screwtape reminds Wormwood to  "Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy's ground."  
This reminds us that all true and real pleasures come from the Lord.  All true joy was made by Him. 

This started me thinking about joy.  God created all that brings us true joy.  He wants us to be happy.  He wants us to have fun.

Then later in the week I was listening to a radio program where Scott Hahn was being interviewed.  One of the many topics that he spoke about was finding the Joy in the Catholic faith.  He discussed how detrimental a joyless Catholic is to spreading the faith.  (Sorry, I don't have any direct quotes from the program.)

So not only did the Lord give us pleasures and joy but now it is important that we have and show that joy.  If we do not have joy in our faith it is because we have not found it or because we are not embracing this joy, not because the joy is not there.  He calls us to find that joy and share it with others in our daily lives.  If our lives show people that Christianity is dreary and joyless, how are we going to tell them how great the Lord is?  I find that the more I study and learn about the true teachings of the Church the more I see the true joy in living out these teachings.

Then that night I was reading about St. John Bosco.  If there was ever a saint who liked to have fun and live in joy it was him.  As I was reading one quote of his stood out to me.

"Enjoy yourselves as much as you like, if only you keep away from sin."-St. John Bosco.  

It is not a sin to enjoy yourself and have fun, it is only a problem when that fun leads you into sin.  It is great for us to have fun and enjoy ourselves as long as we are doing it in the way that God intended us to.  So often this message gets lost.  Often society gives us the picture that if we are good Catholics then we are always serious and shun pleasures.  But this is not true.

These three references to joy and pleasures help remind us that the Lord wants us to be happy both in this life and in the next.
Do you have any references to joy that you like to reflect on?  Please share. 

Dear Lord Help us to live our lives with joy.

Joining in with Jen today at:

For more reflections and scripture about joy take a look at these posts.