Christian Joy Page
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Irish Boy and the Nuns
In their highly acclaimed book The Book of Joy, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Douglas Abrams have stated: "Joy is much bigger than happiness." Published in 2016 by Random House, I highly recommend this book, which explores how joy can become a lasting way of being (p. 5). Both leaders have suffered immensely, so this is not a na´ve book, but a book of experience and growth.
Martin Luther on Joyful Christianity
Flee from sorrow, whose author is Satan. God is the enemy of sorrow, and pursues it with all His words, the Holy Spirit, the sacraments, the Gospel. God wants us to be happy and hates sadness. God is not a God of sadness, but the devil is. Christ is a God of joy. It is pleasing to the dear God whenever thou rejoices and laughest from the bottom of thy heart. A Christian should and must be a cheerful person (Table Talks, used in The Joyful Noiseletter, 30 (Sept.-Oct. 2015, 5) 1.
Highly Recommended: The Fellowship of Merry Christians, with their Joyful Noiseletter, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul group.
The Fellowship of Merry Christians has a website (www.JoyfulNoiseletter.com) and six times a year publication, The Joyful Noiseletter, especially recognized for its cartoons. Better than the cartoons of the New Yorker magazine, according to experts. Many, many great books on joyful Christianity are listed on the website.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul group is less religious and more spiritual. Its motto is "Changing lives one story at a time," and its website www.chickensoup.com. This Christmas I was given their book Chicken Soup for the Soul, My Very Good, Very Bad Cat, and I found many of the stories to deeply resonate with a spirituality which comes to you from the side, rather than directly.
Martin Luther, the Christmas Tree and 95 Theses, according to Garrison Keillor
It is reliably reported that Martin Luther was the first person to have a Christmas tree inside his home, after he renounced his Catholic priesthood and married. However, Garrison Keillor is reported by one of our Oblates to have explained it this way. Luther was out in the woods for a little walk, and as he passed the pine tree, a branch hit him in the face. He was so angry he chopped the tree down. Only then did he decide it would look nice, decorated, inside the house.
A search on the internet has failed to find this story. But Keillor did write a spoof on Luther's 95 theses: click here. (And see the first click below for Keillor's "Singing with Lutherans").
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Pope Francis and the Jesuit Sense of Humor
In his remarkable book Between Heaven and Mirth, Jesuit Father James Martin, S.J., writes the following, about the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola, which may explain part of Pope Francis' Jesuit sense of humor.
One day, after Ignatius' conversion, he was riding on a mule when he came upon another man on the road also riding on a mule. In the course of their brief conversation, the man insulted the Virgin Mary and then rode off. Ignatius, who was still very much of a hothead, waxed furious.
So he started to think about murder. But, try as he might, he was unable to decide whether he should kill the man or not. At that moment he reached a (literal) fork in the road. Ignatius decided to leave the fate of the blasphemer up to his mule As he wrote in his autobiography, "If the mule took the village road, I would seek him out and stab him; if the mule did not go toward the village, but took the highway, I would let him be." Fortunately for all concerned, the donkey chose the highway.
After the provincial told us novices this story about Ignatius, he smiled and said: "Ever since then, asses have been making decisions in the Jesuits" (pp. 169-70).
Preparation for the 499th anniversary of Luther's Theses, Oct. 31, 2016.
On this past Reformation Sunday, grandma was sitting in the pew with her 8-year-old grandson, Luke. After the children's sermon about the Reformation, grandma pointed out to Luke, in the hymnal the song we were going to sing, "A Mighty Fortress is our God." At the bottom of the page, Luke read "Text by Martin Luther."
Luke innocently exclaimed, "you mean I can text Martin Luther!" He was ready to do so with his cell phone in hand.
Joyful Noiseletter, March-April, 2016, p. 2, by Rev. Dr. Clifton J. Suehr, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Irwin, PA.
Subitted by Beth Nelson
The Lord's Supper, a Bittersweet Experience?
Many Christians have heard the story that at the Passover Meal during which Jesus instituted the Lord's supper, He looked around the room and realized that all, with the possible exception of John, would betray Him (Peter in a spectacular manner). He then raised His hand towards the waiter and said "Separate checks."
For Christians, the Lord's Supper or Mass is the source of both joy and sorrow. See especially the items on the Eucharistic Hospitality page, and the item regarding the Synod of Bishops on the home page, for ways to overcome the sorrow.
Nov.-Dec. 2015 Joyful Noiseletter, p. 3.
Little John the
A while later she
heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back To the
open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub
Have a great day, Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death...
Pope Francis as joyful recommended by Ellen DeGeneres
vs Norman Vincent Peale over JFK
As the campaign in 1959 and 1960 heated up, the famous Protestant leader Norman Vincent Peale came out with a very public statement that he did not believe a Catholic could be president, because of connections to the Pope. Adlai Stevenson, also a Protestant, who had been the Democratic Party's candidate for president both in 1952 and 1956, quipped: I find St. Paul appealing, and St. Peale appalling