Monday, 19 March 2012


St Teresa of Avila rightly prayed: "God save us from sour-faced saints." St Francis constantly emphasised opening ourselves to " the joy of salvation". They got it right - the goal of the Gospel is that we share in God's own joy. "The joy of the Lord is our strength."

Cardinal Dolan of New York, speaking recently of his time in Rome, said: "When I was a new seminarian at the North American College in Rome, all the first-year men from all the Roman theological universities were invited to a Mass at St. Peter’s with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal John Wright, as celebrant and homilist. We thought he would give us a cerebral homily.  But he began by asking, 'Seminarians:  do me and the Church a big favour. When you walk the streets of Rome, smile!' The witness to Christ must be a person of joy. 'Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence,' claims Leon Bloy."

Even at this stage of our Lent journey, a new resolution - in simplicity of heart I will open myself to the gift of God's joy.