I don’t envy the security guard for Pope Francis. He’s very unpredictable and spontaneous. I read that, one day as he was being driven in his motorcar that he saw and elderly woman standing by the road and smiling. He asked the driver to stop, and Pope Francis got out of the car and walked over to the woman. They chatted, and he asked her, “What is your recipe for joy?” Now, I am paraphrasing this story, so the words I use are not direct quotes. The elderly woman replied, “Ravioli. I make ravioli. That gives me joy.”
Joy is supposed to be the mark of the Christian. Look around. Do you see much joy? I don’t. Yet, we are supposed to be joyous in the Lord! We are all called to be saints. That should bring us great joy, but, St. Teresa of Avila, sometimes lost her patience. She would say, “God save us from gloomy saints.”
Maybe you’ve never thought about joy. Is there joy in your life? There must be something, amidst the hustle and bustle of each day, that brings you joy. What is it?
I had to stop and think about this. What is my recipe for joy? I have found that being grateful for what I have and thanking God for prayers not answered in the way I would like, brings me great joy. My recipe would include gratitude and thanksgiving. In this way, the flower becomes a reason to smile. The raise you didn’t get? It gives you more time to spend with your family.
Now, I don’t make ravioli, but it does bring me joy to eat good ravioli. I wish I could meet the Pope next week. If he were to ask me what gives me joy, I’d have to say, it wouldn’t be eating ravioli, but it would be meeting our Pontif. I would be grateful and thankful. I would be filled with joy. Each day it changes. Each day brings more. God cannot be outdone.
Now, I ask you, “What is your recipe for joy?”