Friday, February 20, 2015

not your grandmother's cathedral

“I’m a walking contradiction, a walking perplexity. I’m living a life that the larger society says isn’t possible.”

The other night, I dreamed that someone told me, with an angry, spiteful voice: Renee, you have no joy.
As I listened to them in the dream, Sleeping Renee decided this person didn't matter, and she wasn't going to listen to those words anyway. But, deep inside my mind, in the part of my heart that never slumbers, I couldn't help but be shaken by those words.

I read the article that contained the above quote from Rev. Spencer Howe, and many other beautiful quotes from the young men that make up the vanguard of the new evangelization.

What struck me was the necessity of what everyone from Teresa of Avila to Papa Francesco calls Joyful Saints. Without joy, there cannot be, says Mother Teresa, any true holiness.

Without the constant knowledge that you are being held in the arms of an inevitable and unvanquished love, any Joy is fleeting.

I know this to be true, but it is all too easy and tempting to let the annoyances and imperfections of everyday life get in the way of this joy. It is very tempting to let the particular tragedies life deals out--both large and small--to stop the wells of joy from spilling over.

But, if you know that you are in the middle of a love story greater than you can see, then how can you find it in your heart to be anything but Joyful?

And if you have felt this joy, you must share it with others. If you keep it to yourself, you'll find that it has, somehow, disappeared. It will have dwindled to nothing, and a petty bitterness will have taken this place. Rather, if you consistently practice spreading to everyone around you, it will grow continually, until you have become that walking contradiction: that sign to the nations of a different way of life and love.

A sign that there is another way the story can go.

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