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To some extent this is because our “technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy”.[2] I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.

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Irenaeus also provides the first explicit witness to a four-fold gospel canon. 3.3.3), although it seems from remarks Irenaeus makes in the prefaces to Haer. Pfaff published in 1715, allegedly from manuscripts in Turin, were proved to be forgeries by A. There is an effort to bring the Latin text of Irenaeus online, requesting volunteers to help with proofreading. His work is invaluable to modern scholarship in the attempt to recover the content of Gnostic teachings in the second century. There is also a fragment of a letter sent by Irenaeus to Pope Victor preserved in Syriac that is generally accepted as authentic.I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is…But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam , 21-23, 26). Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met.This is the joy which we experience daily, amid the little things of life, as a response to the loving invitation of God our Father: “My child, treat yourself well, according to your means… The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ’s cross, constantly invites us to rejoice. Our Christian joy drinks of the wellspring of his brimming heart.

Do not deprive yourself of the day’s enjoyment” (Sir , 14). He promises his disciples: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (Jn ).

He then goes on to say: “But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn ).

The disciples “rejoiced” (Jn ) at the sight of the risen Christ.

How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost!

Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.

The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.