An integral part of celebration is joy. The feast itself can be organized, but not joy. This can only be received as a gift. In fact, it is given to us in abundance, and for this, we are grateful.
Just as St. Paul describes joy as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, so too, John in his Gospel, links the Spirit and joy closely. The Holy Spirit gives us joy. He is joy itself. Joy is the gift in which all the other gifts are contained. It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with oneself, which can only be achieved by being in harmony with God and his creation.
Part of the nature of joy is to radiate itself, the need to communicate itself. The missionary spirit of the Church is nothing but the impulse to communicate the joy that has been given to us.
That such joy may always be alive in us and thus irradiate the world in its tribulations - that is my wish at the end of this year.
-from the Pope's annual address to his staff (photo tip to Deacon)
Cloistered at the Carnival
17 hours ago