Does it really take courage to be happy? Happiness is not easy laughter, it is not the victory of a team or winning the lottery, nor is it finding all the answers to one’s problems. For Christians, what is happiness? I like to quote a phrase that comes to mind: He who has met Jesus Christ is happy, but if not, it means that he met someone else!
Can a Christian, therefore, be pessimistic and unhappy? Can he always complain? Encountering the joy of Christ reminds us of the duty to strive courageously for company that does not overlook the significant relationships of all kinds. What do we do then? The answer is in our daily lives: the commitment to be a real and joyful witness of the love of God. This means not doing extraordinary things, but ordinary ones with great love. We must strive for the best in our family life, in our relationships, work or study, and volunteer work to live in the Church.
There will be difficulties: we are fighting against the crisis of vocations, as well as with conflicting economic and educational values. We struggle with weariness, routine, educational failures and with our human weakness. These difficulties are not hidden but seen clear as day through every important relationship and constant prayer. One, perhaps a little ‘discouraged’, may say: “Once times were different, beautiful times, but now …”. As Christians we know, however, that “remembering” is not a nostalgic and melancholic memory, not fixed in the tombstones and statues erected at another time. Rather, it is to celebrate life marked by the Paschal Mystery, each one of us ready to lose something, maybe to change everything, but confident in the proclamation of hope. We want to be more credible witnesses, disciples attentive to young people and their families, engaging in vocations, brave in the mission, full of spirituality, happy, yes, but not alone!
– Marco Pappalardo – Author of Have the Courage to Be Happy
An ideal handbook for teens, Have the Courage to Be Happy by Marco Pappalardo is an optimistic and enthusiastic vision of the Church’s future. Explored with reflections from the Pope, space is left at the end of each chapter for readers to write their own thoughts: giving young people a space of their own to grow. Click here to view this book.