When There is no Joy
I confess to being reluctant to write or talk about joy. Recently I was asked to give a lecture at the autumn conference of priests from the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. The theme of the
conference was “Give me Joy in my Heart.” I have been struck by the fact that Pope Francis frequently makes reference to joy. I began my research by consulting his writings. I found my title in a phrase he used during an address to clergy, religious and permanent deacons delivered at the Cathedral of Naples on March 21, 2015. In his address he used a phrase which set me thinking: “When there is no joy something is wrong.” 1 I began to ask myself a series of questions: What might be wrong? What contributes to the absence of joy in priests? What does Pope Francis mean by joy?