Friday, April 20, 2012

A Few Follow-up Tidbits to Yesterday's Post

In adoration this morning, I came across a few quotes about witnessing (which I may have posted on this blog eons ago) that I thought were worth looking at again in light of this "Living Differently" concept. I also just read Karen Edmisten's lovely post from yesterday:  Hmm, Shall I Blog About Contraception or Parchment Paper, which I really liked (!) and also relates to the nature of the important conversation going on right now.

Anyway, here are the quotes:

The first and fundamental mission that we receive from the sacred mysteries we celebrate is that of bearing witness by our lives. The wonder we experience at the gift God has made to us in Christ gives new impulse to our lives and commits us to becoming witnesses of his love. We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present.
- Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis

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


Anonymous said...

Another great post! I was thinking about the second quote recently. I think the only way to effortlessly convince people that this lifestyle works is to live it joyfully and let it show. That's not hard at all, but I think it's a decision one has to make consciously.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Thanks J! Well, I'm not sure that it's always easy (for me at least!), but I agree that recognizing it as important and deciding to do it are the biggest thing.

Dr. Thursday said...

This matter was dealt with in the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas, II-II, Q168 A4. The topic is "whether the lack of mirth is sinful"...

Incidentally, this particular reference plays a critical part in The Black Hole in the Basement, the next installment of my Saga De Bellis Stellarum which is about to be released. See here for details.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Ooooh. I will have to look that up. Thanks! Nice to hear from you by the way!!! :)

Dr. Thursday said...


It's QUITE relevant, well worth studying.

Also, that first bit reminded me of the incredibly famous sequence from GKC's The Everlasting Man about how the death of their god made the Christians "unnaturally joyful" since that death enabled them to eat him and drink his blood. [see CW2:295-6]

This requires real engagement of the PERSON - which means the intellect and not only the "feelings"... and you will be overwhelmed with "unnatural" joy.

(I'd write more on that term "unnatural" but I'm a bit busy; I will try to get to it, as it deserves some consideration.)

Meanwhile, ora et labora, and maybe we can do e-mail eventually. Happy Paschaltide to you & the Family!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Yes it is terrific! I've already gone and read it per your recommendation - thank you much!!!

As much as I love "real" books, the Kindle is wonderful for things like carrying the entire Summa Theologica around in my pocket. (And I have gotten teased for having it on my Kindle, but I DO refer to it here and there!)/