Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Joy, Happiness and Pleasure

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.

He 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.

When 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.  

On 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?

During 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment