A Christian without joy is either not a Christian or he is sick.—Pope Francis
I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty tired of hearing people say, “I have been doing X for my entire career, and I have never seen things this bad.”
The stock market. Politics. Worrisome world events. It’s enough to make any person who pays the slightest attention to the news have serious anxiety issues.
I was recently reading the part of the Summa where Thomas Aquinas asks whether playing games or doing lighthearted activities can be virtuous. Aquinas concludes that playfulness, rest and relaxation of the soul and body can indeed be a sign of virtue, as long as the pleasure sought is not “indecent” or does not involve “injurious deeds or words.”
In fact, Aquinas goes so far to say that humorlessness and lack of mirth can be sinful, and he argues that man should not “be burdensome to others by offering no pleasure to others, and by hindering their enjoyment.” In other words it can be a sin to be humorless and grumpy and make those around you miserable!
So, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, I decided to write a lighthearted post this week in the hopes that it will help us all rest and relax our souls.
Let’s turn those frowns into smiles.
Because no matter what happens, Jesus is with us.
Here are some reasons the world is an awesome place:
2. Liam took his taxi driver, Shakiha, to a theme park in Abu Dhabi after realizing Shakiha was going to sit in the car for four hours just waiting for him. (The pictures of them both on a rollercoaster are priceless.)
3. Simon Beck makes astonishingly intricate snow art by walking around in the snow for hours.
4. Researchers have found that people who eat chocolate at least once a week have better brain function. (I knew this piece of non-news already …)
5. Astronaut Scott Kelly took some amazing photos of Earth during his year in space:
6. Artist Susanna Bauer decided to embellish real leaves with intricate crochet designs. The result is gorgeous!
7. Some genius made a pizza night light.
8.This group of artists from Syria is building miniature models of historic landmarks that are being destroyed by ISIS. While they can’t stop the destruction, they use their art to inform and inspire.
9. There is an amazing channel on YouTube that doodles along with C. S. Lewis readings. It really helps visual people like me absorb the material! (And feel like I am doing something worthwhile at the same time watching YouTube.)
And the last and perhaps most convincing proof that God is still active in our world today:
This woman of #God is so inspiring. Sr. Augusta is the eldest sister in the community. I #love spending time with her. #Sheisturning100. #Ilovemysisters #nunsrock #centenary #MediaNuns #thankyouJesus For Sister Augusta's 100th birthday, help us make a special "centenary" birthday gift to all our senior sisters by contributing toward the infirmary. Follow this link: http://igg.me/at/skXOOADAFZg
Sr. Augusta is a Daughter of St. Paul, and she is turning 100 years old in March.
In the video Sr. Augusta summarizes the wisdom of the spiritual life in these simple words, “We are with Jesus. Jesus is with us. We are with Jesus. That’s it.”
Indeed. That is it.
(If you would like to make a donation to our elderly sisters’ infirmary in Sr. Augusta’s honor, you can do so here.)
Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, is the author of The Prodigal You Love: Inviting Loved Ones Back to the Church. She recently pronounced her first vows with the Daughters of Saint Paul. She blogs at Pursued by Truth.