Consider the strong emphasis Paul places on joyful living.
He makes it clear that he himself valued joy as a desirable
and attainable human experience. By one count he employed
the words “joy” and “rejoice” sixteen times in his Letter to
Msg. James Turro (2009)
The purpose of The Joyful Catholic is to remind us to enjoy our Faith and, by example, to invite others to the feast.
During WWII when I was flying bombing missions in the Mediterranean area, every time I switched from one squadron to another, I made friends with Catholics, not knowing they were Catholic. This puzzled me. Also Joe Marini, my co-pilot, who became as close as a brother, was Catholic. None of them every talked to me about their religion. (Joe is now a retired priest in Oakland, CA)
After the war, it was tough returning to bland civilian life. Working in downtown Washington, D.C., I frequently would retreat into St. Matthews Cathedral where it was dark and quiet. If I happened to be there when a Mass took place, I tried to follow in the Missal by brushing up on my high school Latin. Gradually, I realized that the Eucharist was the guts of Catholicism. I wanted to receive the Sacred Host.
After a 2AM revelation, I rammed my way into the Church and was baptized before noon, knowing only the Apostles Creed. Sixty years later I am still learning.
When I revisit my conversion, I realize that doctrine and knowledge of the Church played a minor role. The magnet was the example of Catholic friends.
In my Next in Line Clubs, which encourage the writing of autobiographies, I emphasize the importance of “show, don’t tell.”
The same advice applies to each of us Catholics in our daily lives. By what we say and do, we show to the world that we are blessed to be Catholic. By exuding joy, we are attractive advertisements for the Church. Each day, we should state with conviction, “I am a joyful Catholic,” and marvel at its effectiveness. Let us work to develop a joyful Catholic Community. It can be done!
(And what are your thoughts?)
The irate father grabbed his rambunctious kid during Mass and took him out of the church. As they reached the door, the kid shouted back to the congregation, “Pray for me! Pray for me!”
My favorite priest
For many years, by his kindness and devotion to the Mass, Monsignor W. Louis Quinn at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a constant inspiration to me. He radiates goodness!