Do you believe in joy?

I just read a  quote from Fr. Richard Rohr – one of my favorite spiritual writers.  He said: “Christians must believe in joy or they do not believe in the God of Jesus.”

Yes!  Absolutely!  I love the way he puts that – not that Christians must be joyful (although it seems to me we’ve too many sourpusses walking around calling themselves disciples – including me, sometimes) but that we must BELIEVE it is possible to live a joyful life. 

How many people are desperately yearning for that message today?  So many talented, good, sensitive , compassionate (especially the sensitive and compassionate) people who want to live joyful lives and who know that the messages of “happiness” they’re getting through the media are mostly empty promises.  They’ve turned away from institutional religion because they’ve too often found that the people who preach the message of joy don’t really believe it.

The sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is the worst failure of leadership exhibited by our hierarchy since the indulgence scandal.  That much seems clear.  But the most soul -damaging dynamic  within the entire Christian world just might be that there is a canyon-sized disconnect between those who call themselves Christian and those who know Christ.

Any thoughts?

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

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