Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I've Got That Joy, Joy, Joy...

It is so easy to talk about being joyful, being grateful, and being faithful.

"If only we keep God at the center of our life," "If only we remember who wins in the end," "If only we remember that God has a plan for us and always stays by our side."

Blog post after blog post after blog post in the Catholic world reminds us of these ideas, and of the ideal of always being joyful no matter what.

While that is an important message that we need to hear from time to time, sometimes what we need to hear is that a lot of the time life just sucks and we shouldn't have to be expected to exude joy in those situations.

Yes, in the bigger scheme of things, everything is going to be okay. God is in control, and we should be joyful as often as we can.

But real life shows us that we can't always be that way. We can't always be that smiling Christian who attracts people to the faith inside of us. Sometimes we just feel like normal human beings struggling to cope with the fact that life isn't fair, that things don't always work out, and that suffering (even though it has meaning in a very real sense) can feel meaningless a lot of the time.

Now don't worry, I'm not feeling down in the dumps (at the present moment), no need to schedule a session with the nearest Catholic therapist (which would be me, I guess).

I'm just trying to give a voice to those who can sometimes find themselves feeling shut out of the Catholic world because they're feeling a very real sense hopelessness that doesn't go away with a prayer or a mindfulness exercise focusing on God being in charge, and who can't stand to look at another blog post about the need to be joyful in the midst of difficulties.

And feeling that way is okay.

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