If getting holier doesn’t make us more joyful, something is inauthentic.
That should be obvious. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and have it to the full.” And, “I have said these things so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 10:10, 15:11).
What part does being in the Church play in this? Does it give us joy (not complacency, not a sense of superiority) to know we are united—to know we are one—vertically in time, and horizontally in space, with all who affirm with us “one Lord, one faith, one Baptism” (Ephesians 4:5)?
Let’s make it more personal. Are you glad to know you have the same faith as St. Francis of Assisi? That you say the same prayers at Mass that he said, receive the same sacraments, with the same understanding of them that he had, and have the same devotion—even if not as much—that he had to Jesus, Mary, and the Saints?
If Francis were on earth today, would you gather with the community he gathers with on Sunday? What if St. Teresa of Avila were there? St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Catherine of Siena, and all the famous Christian mystics whose writings have inspired millions for centuries? The lovable and loving St. Thérèse of Liseux? Would you find joy mixing with them, being a part of what they are a part of, knowing you are a kindred spirit with them?
If you find your Christian community uninspiring, include the invisible members who would be there if they were still on earth or living in your town. It is with them that you choose or refuse to assemble. You believe what they believed. You relate to their teaching and example.
Pope Francis says, “Rejoice and be glad!” Embrace the Church. Get holy.
ACTION: Get to know some saints.
PRAYER: “Lord, I am not worthy...”