In the Catholic Digest one of the writers wonders why faces in church are so grim. He was in church with his wife waiting to confess and remembered the words of a friend. A grandmother in the confessional didn't speak so the priest asked her to confess her sins.... "Father living is sin." He laughed at the words of his friend but they continued to reverberate in his mind while waiting to confess.
recalls the look on his own face and those he sees in the church:
soldiers on the battle field, or like the walking dead. Even when
praying the grim face doesn't disappear. What should his face express
when praying? He asks himself.
he was in the States he was called back to Korea when his mother was
dying and recalls the peaceful look on his mother's face at death.
the day he was preparing for confession the Gospel at the Mass was from
Matt. 11:28-30. "Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened,
and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am
gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls. Yes,my yoke is easy and my burden light."
Thoughts usually are expressed on our faces. Should not the words of Jesus
become so much a part of oneself that they find expression on our faces?
the liturgical year we have two Sundays in which the celebrant of the
Mass wears rose vestments: Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent
and Laetare Sunday the fourth of Lent, both words can be translated
rejoice. Joy is the hallmark of a Christian and Pope Francis in his message
to us wrote about the Joy of the Gospel.
In Korean as in English we do often distinguish between Joy, happiness and
pleasure. Without much thought we can say that joy is internal,
happiness has to do with the emotions and pleasure with the body. All
are important and valuable, but the one that should always be present is joy
which does not depend on external stimuli and lasts.