“This holy place is ever more delightful. Those who live here inspire almost as much devotion as does the shrine. The house is clean, silence and recollection dominate it, there is joy on every face; oh! it is good to live here. I will only pass through however.” (Letter To Bishop Fortune de Mazenod, August 1, 1832: 79:XIII in Oblate Writings)
“…there is joy on every face; oh! it is good to live here.” This one phrase stands out above the rest.
I have noticed throughout my life those people who seem to stand out from the rest. It is not the amount of ‘bling’ that they wear, how rich they are or is it how famous they might be. It is quite simply the amount of joy that they radiate within themselves. The phrase “soul seeing” comes to mind. Quiet joy that seems to invite and draw you in. More powerful and attractive than all the fine clothes, cars and fame that money can buy.
It comes I believe from being where one is called to be, sitting in relationship with… This is what love can look like, love that begins deep within the centre of a heart and then grows out to include the universe. I believe that we tend to seek out others who radiate this joy in how they live, in what they believe, in the work that they do.
I think of the disciples of Jesus, sitting around him, following and being with him. Most particularly at certain times , like during the meal that we call the Last Supper. It was good for them to be there. And I think of the story of a young Oblate priest sitting on the floor near the knees of another who was sharing his learning and love of St. Eugene. I think of my own joy in coming here each morning and being with you, learning, sharing, questioning, focussing and being. This brings a joy that helps to carry me through my day. It is so very good to be here.