Monday, March 23, 2009

Still more on joy

Fulton J. Sheen (1885-1979)

I do love the internet! The way one thing leads to another can be so serendipidous. Here's what happened. Normally I post a meditative picture on Meditation Matters each Monday. Today I found a marvelous photo of a waterfall on Wikimedia Commons and so I chose that. Then I went looking for a quotation to go with it and, lo and behold, found one by Bishop Sheen. I hadn't thought of him for quite a while but I used to love his television programs back in the 60s.

Here's something he said about joy:
Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.

Steady, abiding, a fixed star. That's very lovely and very consoling whatever one's circumstances in life may happen to be.

UPDATE: I just read this about Bp. Sheen:

The source of his strength and his untiring self-giving came from his daily hour before the Blessed Sacrament, which he never once missed from the day of his ordination to the priesthood. Unbelievable but true!

I found it right here.


  1. wow - when that picture popped up on my screen it brought me back to my parents' house - we watched his s how on TV - but are his dates a misprint?

  2. Of course! Thanks for pointing that out. I've fixed it!

  3. I have mixed feelings re Archbishop Sheen.

    His "cause" (for sainthood) is vigorously being pursued. Anyone w/ an even half-way functioning gaydar can tell he was the Queeniest Queen in Queendonia, and you KNOW that will be overlooked! [I'm just talking orientation---I have no dirt whether or not he maintained his vow of celibacy]

    Moreover, he's looked to (by the EWTN Popoid crowd) as sort of their First Great Champion of Pushback Against Vatican II: that ain't a good, either.

    Still 'n' all, I don't really know THAT much about. He said some fairly banal things on that TV show (that I've seen), but I suppose some inspirational things as well...

  4. Love it, JCF! Yes, he sets off my "gaydar" as well. Of course, I didn't know anything about that sort of thing when I was a kid. I just got a kick out of his jokes and I really was drawn to his genial manner.

    And I do think what he said about joy here is pretty good.


New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.