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Friday, June 14, 2013

Receiving our Joy

by Colleen Spiro

File:Ingres the virgin of the host.jpg
The Virgin of the Host by Ingres (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons).


Pope Francis was recently quoted as saying that "Sometimes these melancholic Christians' faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life"(homily, May 10, 2013).

I once heard a speaker say that too many people walk around church like they have been baptized in "pickle juice." Where is the joy, she asked?

Several years ago my husband and I were attending Mass at a church out of town. It was tourist season and the parish was holding an extra Mass in their parish hall. During communion, we were seated behind one of the priests distributing communion so I had a good look at everyone's face as they came up to receive the Body of Christ. Almost every single person had a sour look. Pickle juice.

It was my turn to ask, Where is the joy?

Perhaps many of us think that looking reverent means looking serious. Nothing wrong with that, but still, I think of what St. John Vianney said:

"Without the divine Eucharist there would be no happiness in this world; life would be unbearable. When we receive Holy Communion we receive our joy and happiness." 

Continue reading at Thoughts on Grace.


  1. I went to Thoughts on Grace to continue reading. but came back here to comment (I needed the walk...).

    This struck me a lot, because just last week I was alone in my kitchen and suddenly realized I was frowning. Oh no! Did I do that all the time and not know it, and if so, was I just turning into a miserable old lady?! But then I realized: I was squinting to focus my eyes.

    Still. It made me aware. So now I try to keep a pleasant expression even if no one is around to see it. I try to remember that GOD is here, and that Truth alone should keep me rejoicing!

    Thanks for sharing a really insightful post.

    1. Nancy, thank you for sharing that! I tend to be a serious person. I am an introvert so I "think" a lot. I have to focus on smiling sometimes. I may feel joyful but I forget to notify my face!

  2. I agree with Nancy...we should smile more. Ok so I have an expressive face, oh wait, they are wrinkles. Frowning doesn't help a bit. Loved this post. An Anglican priest once told me, he called such people...The Frozen Chosen. He hit the mark.

    1. The Frozen Chosen! I love that! You are right. He hit the mark. Thanks, Nanette!


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