Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Priest Wore Pink

When the priest breaks out the rose vestment during Lent, the people rejoice. In the midst of our journey to Good Friday, it doesn't make much sense. I'm supposed to be happy? I'm supposed to rejoice in the middle of my Lenten sacrificing and meditating on the suffering Savior?

Yes. It is time to rejoice. We are almost there. More than half-way there! So pick up your chin. Look at how far we've journeyed with Christ. Reach out and grab His hand and keep walking. While the rest of the world seeks happiness in all the wrong places, we find our greatest joy in the midst of the difficult journey. Why? Because Christ walked this way first. And He is right beside us, walking the Way of the Cross with us each time we pass through Lent.

Today, the priest wore pink. 

This one who stands in persona Christi wore pink. It is to remind us that we can find joy even in the most difficult moments of life - because Jesus Christ is at our side. And He has all of the provisions we need for the journey - safely tucked away in His Most Sacred Heart.

(Here's an old Catholic by Grace article - go ahead, let yourself be happy today!)

Are some people just naturally happy? 
Like the Disney dwarf that bears the name, some people just always have a smile regardless of what comes along.  But even “Happy” could not preserve his happiness when Snow White lay dead.  Likewise, even the happiest dispositions seem to lose their joy when things around them go bad.  So what is the key to lasting happiness?
Is there any hope for those of us who are overly sensitive, irritable, or cynical?  If the naturally happy people can’t retain happiness, what hope is there for us?
In his Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul says that he has learned to be content whether he has much or little.  True happiness is not a product of our circumstances and it is not a genetic predisposition. In short, it is God who grants peace and joy.  The key to lasting happiness rests simply in knowing that God is in charge.
It is one thing to know what St. Paul is saying in a theoretical sense, but how can I find that contentment right here, right now?  Where is that fountain of joy?  I cannot will myself into a happy disposition.  I cannot click my heels three times and find it.   If it isn’t a question of calm days and prosperous years, what can I do or where can I go to find what St. Paul found? 
The ultimate source of happiness is not money or romance.  I know this from experience, for I have lived below the poverty line.   I have also known prosperity.  I have spent week-long vacations at expensive resorts and enjoyed fine dining.
I have known love.  I have received flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and mushy cards from lovers.  I have also known heartache.  I have been dumped, rejected, and divorced. 
I have given birth, and I have buried those I love.
When am I the happiest?  Was it in prosperity or poverty?  Was it when I knew love or loss?
The answer to the question is so easy.  I am happiest when I kneel after receiving Holy Communion.  When everything else, both good and bad, falls away and there is only my Lord and my God, that is when I am happiest.  I am happiest in that moment because He comes with mercy and grace and peace and quiets the storms (and parties) of my life.  I am happiest when He takes over and I just let Him do it.


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