Posted by: Catholic of Thule | July 10, 2011

Rejoicing with others.

Do we understand what true charity is? If we were to answer truly, we should say indeed we know but little about it, or at least we should all be obliged to acknowledge that we have but little of it. How shall we know how little we have of it? Let us examine ourselves seriously. If we have charity, we shall love others as we love ourselves – that means more than we at present think. From mere natural sympathy, we often weep with those that weep, but do we rejoice with those that rejoice? Ah, if we truly loved, if we loved sincerely, we should rejoice in others’ joys as if they were our own. We should delight in the honor others receive; we should be grateful to those who give honor to them, who do good to them; we should almost feel as though a personal service were done to ourselves. They who posess this charity are indeed happy. They have every joy with them, since others’ joys are theirs, and even others’ sorrows. Knowing as they do that they have power to alleviate the sorrows of others by the wondrous power of prayer, the joys of others are a source of joy to them – the joy of the soul that unselfishly seeks to do good to all, that knows the good it is able to do; of the soul that faith teaches to imitate God, that does so day by day, striving to live a life of love for God and man….

Ven. Mother Mary Potter, Devotion for the Dying.

Of course, we may safely assume that Mother Mary Potter does not encourage rejoicing in evil and that the joys of others whereof she speaks are true joys and true good. Evil and spiritual calamities masquerading as joy belong rather to the category of the sorrows of others over which we grieve and which inspire joy only in the knowledge of the grace available to us through prayer for the remedy of the evil in question.

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Responses

  1. This was beautiful, thank you for sharing it. I was struck by the truth of being able to weep with others when they weep but sometimes unable to rejoice with others when joyful and good things happen to them. What a terrible poverty of spirit if you really think about it. This gives me a lot to consider.


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