Quotes on Joy

"Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian." - G.K. Chesterton

"Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love." - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity." - Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (Encyclical On Integral Human Development in Love and Truth)

" We need to have it said to us that only with Christ has true joy made its appearance and that, in our own lives, nothing matters apart from learning to see and understand Christ, the God of grace, the light and joy of the world. Indeed, our joy will only be true if it is not based on things, which can be taken away from us and destroyed, but thrusts its roots into the intimate depth of our lives, into that depth which no worldly power can take away from us. In addition, every external loss should become for us an initiation into that interiority and should make us more mature for living our true life." - Cardinal Ratzinger (as quoted in Christ Our Joy: The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI by Msgr. Joseph Murphy)

"Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength.

In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news." - Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth

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