Having a proper understanding of joy is imperative to becoming a saint.
Joy is the arousal of some sense of good. When we malign and obscure good, we malign and obscure joy. St. Gregory the Great tells us, for example, that (a false) joy may result from another’s misfortune (CCC 2539). The unrighteous presence of envy, in this case, corrupts true joy.
AIUTA CON UN PICCOLO CONTRIBUTO:
There’s a better means of obtaining the joy that comes from the Spirit, and a study of the life of St. Philip Neri reveals this.
After his ordination to the priesthood, Philip had become tremendously popular in Rome, which caused some to treat him with disdain and spread gossip about his intentions. They accused him of pride, unholy ambition, and having a vice for attention, and sought to have him removed from all activity he was involved in. Some sent for the attention of the vicar general of Rome, who questioned, then rebuked and threatened Neri with prison, before ordering him to cease all his activities.
How did Neri receive this clear and undeserved abuse? With cheer!
He informed his accusers that he was not interested in a popularity contest, but worked each day for the glory of God, and promised to remain obedient to whatever wish his superiors would have for him. Feeling patronized, the vicar general grew even more angered dismissed Philip from his house.
In private, though, Neri was greatly troubled by these accusations, for what he loved and cherished had been taken away from him. Yet he still treated his enemies with kindness until they were overcome with love for him by his mighty and courageous charity.
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