| Sadness and Melancholy | Christian Humor | The Secret of Joy |

Sadness and Melancholy

"The sorrow that is according to God works penance steadfast unto salvation, but the sorrow of the world works death." (II Cor 7:10)

"God never ruffles the joy of his children, except to prepare them for a certain, far greater joy." (Alessandro Manzoni)

"Sadness has killed many, and there is no profit in it." (Ecclus 30:25)

"What can really tire us out, dear daughters and sons, is pride, making things revolve around ourselves. And aside from overwhelming us, it impedes the soul from feeling God's closeness." (Alvaro del Portillo)

"The enemy takes advantage of sadness to tempt the good; for just as he strives to make the wicked rejoice in their sins, so he strives to make the good sorrowful in their good works; and as he cannot bring about what is evil but by making it seem pleasant, so he cannot turn us away from what is good but by making it seem unpleasant. The evil one is pleased with sadness and melancholy, because he is sad and melancholy himself, and will be so for all eternity; and therefore he wishes everyone to be like himself.
"Evil sadness troubles the soul, leads it into disquietude, gives birth to inordinate fears, causes a distaste for prayer, dulls and oppresses the brain, deprives the soul of counsel, of resolution, of judgment and of courage, and weakens her energy: briefly it is like a hard winter which takes away all beauty from the earth, and benumbs all living creatures; for it takes away all sweetness from the soul, and makes her almost paralyzed and powerless in all her faculties."? (St Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part IV, Chap 13)

"May no one read sadness or sorrow in your face when you spread in the world around you the sweet smell of your sacrifice: the children of God should always be sowers of peace and joy." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 59)

"Always at peace, always serene. Whatever may happen, if we are sincere, wounds will not destroy spiritual health but perfect it, prepare it and immunize it against a similar but greater wound or wounds of another kind." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

Christian Humor

"Let the hearts of those who see the Lord rejoice." (Ps 104) [Laetetur cor quaerentium Dominum.]

"All this I have told you, so that my joy may be yours, and your joy may be made full." (Jn 15:11) [Haec locutus sum vobis: ut gaudium meum in vobis sit, et gaudium vestrum impleatur.]

"...then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men." (Prov 8:30)

G.K. Chesterton writes "'Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man's ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something special and small. ... [Joy is] the gigantic secret of the Christian'--secret because the 'tremendous levities of the angels' and the laughter of the heavens' would overwhelm us in our present state.
"Nevertheless humor, light-heartedness, wit, irony, and satire have a vital place and are woven through the Gospels. Humor is an essential dimension of being human, and Jesus was 'true man'. We should, indeed, not take ourselves--or the Devil--too seriously. In the life of prayer, we often find that God himself plays tricks on us, makes jokes with us. But this is part of the spiritual life not easily spoken of to others, for these jokes are personal to us and cannot be understood out of their context. They have a vital function: by playing with us, God reminds us that we are his children. To become 'the right way up', we have to turn the world on its head. The Christian is expected to grow younger, not older, with the passing of time." (Stratford Caldecott, Lighten Up)

"All the way through the Gospels we can hear our Lord's humor if we want to. He is one who shares our emotions and our joys, as well as our griefs and hopes. He is not frivolous, never mocking or abusive in his humor, but he does use the quaint parable, the cleverly turned phrase, as a way of making sure that we remember the essential truth he has come to teach us. And one of these truths is that we are, after all, rather ridiculous. The Pharisee stood on his dignity; the Christian saint know that he has no dignity of his own whatsoever, and is content to be thought a fool for Christ's sake. Beginning with St Paul, there have been many who have cheerfully accepted the role of holy fool, deflecting the dangerous admiration of the crowd even by buffoonery and self-ridicule. That is the contrast between Christianity and paganism. The pagan always strives to be self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satisfied, self-obsessed. The saint finds all sufficiency in Christ alone, and cares nothing for self. There is no surer path to damnation than taking oneself too seriously." (Francis Randolph, Wisdom at Play)

"For God loves a cheerful giver." (II Cor 9:7) [Hilarem enim datorem diligit Deus.]

"The striking thing about these ordinary, albeit talented, men, was, quite simply, their cheerfulness. They were optimistic and confident--persons who visibly regarded themselves as fortunate. It was almost as if they had been let in on a big secret: the Good News was compatible, not only with Harvard, but also with the personal shortcomings they shared with most mortals." (Malcolm Muggeridge, Foreword to 'Footprints in the Snow')

The Secret of Joy

"And on earth, peace to men of good will." (Gloria)[Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.]

"Persevere in prayer, as the Master told us.?This point of departure will be your source of peace, of cheerfulness, of serenity, and so it will make you humanly and supernaturally effective." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 536)

"The disciples saw the Lord, and were glad." (Jn 20:20) [Gavisi sunt ergo discipuli, viso Domino.]

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; behold, I bring you good news of a great rejoicing for the whole people. This day, in the city of David, a Savior has been born for you, the Lord Christ himself." (Lk 2:10-11)[Et dixit illis angelus: nolite timere: ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum, quod erit omni populo: quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator, qui est Christus Dominus in civitate David.]

"Joy be with you always. Never cease praying. Give thanks upon all occasions; this is what God expects of you all in Christ Jesus." (I Thess 5:16-17) [Semper gaudete. Sine intermissione orate.]

"If you feel, for whatever reason, that you cannot manage to go on, abandon yourself in God, telling him: Lord, I trust in you, I abandon myself in you, but do help me in my weakness!
"And filled with confidence, repeat: 'See Jesus what a filthy rag I am. My life seems to me so miserable. I am not worthy to be a son of yours! Tell him all this--and tell him so over and over again.
"It will not be long before you hear him say, 'Ne timeas!' --do not be afraid; and also, 'Surge et ambula!' --rise up and walk!" (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Forge 287)

"Nada te turbe, nada te espante
Todo se pasa, Dios no se muda.
La paciencia todo lo alcanza
Quien a Dios tiene nada le falta
Solo Dios basta." (St Teresa of Avila)

"Happiness is an inside job." (H. Jackson Brown, Sr)

"To give oneself sincerely to others is so effective that God rewards it with a humility filled with cheerfulness." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Forge, 591)

"You are not happy because you make everything revolve around yourself as if you were always the center ...
"Have you ever tried thinking about Him, and through Him, about others?"
(Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow)