I was re-reading a passage of Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, specifically the passage about Joy. It’s one of my favourites.
“Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial.”
Anytime I feel doubtful or worried I have to remind myself that it will and can always be resolved. I have to remember that each problem is more of a gift that allows us to be able to reconsider one’s life in another perspective. Worrying is a gateway drug to despair, at least for me. It spirals and spins one into confusion and isolates one into fear. I like how Chesterton puts it: “Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live.”
While the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation has the potential to be a cause of worry for many, I encourage us all to have joy and know that God is in control. Many other people have responded to the news with excitement because they hope that the Catholic Church will change with the times with a new pope. These sentiments usually seem to come from people who just don’t understand the Church we love. In particular, they don’t understand that it would be impossible for the next pope, or any pope, to change the position of the Church on issues such as abortion, contraception and female priests. This article reminds me to be joyful during this time of transition. I am joyful because our Church will always stand on the side of justice, truth and charity. Always has, always will. As the article closes, “We have a pope who respects women’s rights. A woman’s right to be born, despite a world that values women less than men. A woman’s right to preserve fertility equality with men as a part of the sexual experience. A woman’s right to be respected for the socially cheapened roles of mother and wife. Thankfully, the next pope will defend these women’s rights as well.”
We definitely have a loving Church, one that maintains a firm grasp on what brings true joy, authentic human development and fulfillment. Even as beloved Popes transition, the integral sense of right and justice will never fade. Thanks be to God.