Piety Fosters Peace and Joy

Nativity - Adoration of the Shepherds after Abraham Bloemaert (Detail) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsFather Guibert elaborates upon the role of piety in the formation of joy in the soul. He explains: “Religion promises joy by means of peace, but it only gives it to those who are religious to the point of piety. And that religion promises peace and joy not only for the life to come, but also for this life. This you know from the teaching of Holy Scripture: ‘Peace I leave with you,’ says Jesus; ‘My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you’ (John 14:27). ‘These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled’ (John 15:11). ‘In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). ‘You shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy . . . and your joy no man shall take from you’ (John 16:20, 22). ‘Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and speak all that is evil against you untruly for My sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven’ (Matt 5:11-12).”

“When the Angels announced to the shepherds the birth of the Saviour, they said to them: ‘We bring you good tidings of great joy’ (Luke 2:10). And when the Apostles preach the religion of Jesus to the world, they present it as a joy: ‘These things we write to you, that you may rejoice and your joy may be full’ (1 John 1:4). ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say rejoice’ (Phil 4:4). ‘Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. (1 thes 5:16-17) ‘We are helpers of your joy’ (2 Cor 1:24). And you are ‘my joy and my crown’ (Phil 4:1). St. Paul, while incessantly harassed with persecutions, protests that he rejoices: ‘I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation’ (2 Cor 7:4).”

“Being apostles of joy, the disciples of Jesus live themselves in invariable joy. On the first occasion on which they appear before their persecutors, and when they are beaten with rods, ‘they went from the presence of the council rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus’ (Acts 5:41). Thenceforward, the radiancy of joy becomes the characteristic of the faithful. ‘See how they love one another!’ was said of the first Christians.”

Quotations from Jean Guibert, On Piety (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1911).

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