Holding On To Joy Amidst Criticism – Sr. Ellen LaCapria, DC continues her weekly visual prayer reflection. As we enter this holy time of eucharistic revelation, crucifixion and the joy of resurrection our heads are rightly spinning. In the span of three days we are standing on the mountain top, hurled into the deep vortex of darkness only to be brought back into the shinning light of joy. The present day criticism and skepticism with regard to the Church’s message that our media culture and some intellectual circles convey seems to parallel the happenings of Passion Week in some manner. What choices do we make to either stand at the foot of the cross, or run. How are we Holding On To Joy Amidst Criticism?
Holding On To Joy Amidst Criticism (Full text and image)
Holding On To Joy Amidst Criticism (Click on image to enlarge) Like a vortex, doubt draws one into the center of darkness beyond the light. The pulsating energy of joy can be the energy that pulls us out of our emptiness into a joy of refracting light. 79. At times our media culture and some intellectual circles convey a marked skepticism with regard to the Church’s message, along with a certain cynicism. As a consequence, many pastoral workers, although they pray, develop a sort of inferiority complex which leads them to relativize or conceal their Christian identity and convictions. This produces a vicious circle. They end up being unhappy with who they are and what they do; they do not identify with their mission of evangelization and this weakens their commitment. They end up stifling the joy of mission with a kind of obsession about being like everyone else and possessing what everyone else possesses. Their work of evangelization thus becomes forced, and they devote little energy and very limited time to it. 1. Sometimes criticism can drag us in and send us into a downward vortex toward a state of profound doubt and emptiness. We have then surrendered control over to a less than ideal state. The lure of filling the emptiness with vapor becomes enticing and futile. Surrendering to the unconditional love of God will bring life and true joy. How will we know the difference? Ask God to tell you! 1. APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL IN TODAY’S WORLD