Happy Joyful Catholics?

I know we aren’t all going to be bouncing around like Tigger or Ned Flanders all the time and that everyone experiences ups and downs in their life, like the happiness that a good marriage or family life can bring and fun times, and the sadness when illness, death or other tragedy happens.

But where are all the happy, joyful, fun Catholics as opposed to the ones who are

a) constantly going on about how the Church is falling apart and the world is going to Hades in a basket because of LGBTQ/ abortion/ “progressive” clergy/ Donald Trump/ clergy sex scandals/ global warming etc


b) constantly fretting about Hell or Purgatory, the number of people going to Hell or Purgatory, whether they themselves are going to Hell or Purgatory, how other people most definitely are going to Hell or Purgatory, what exactly happens in Hell or Purgatory etc


I suspect the Internet draws an inordinate number of the two groups I describe above…
I just don’t see the point though.


While bishop Barron often discusses problems in the church or society at large or Christianity in general, his message is always ultimately hopeful. I spend most of my Catholic media time with word on fire.


The priest at the parish I’ve been attending is a very joyful Catholic. He’s an elderly, soft-spoken priest, who is easy to laugh and always seems to have a smile on his face (unless he can’t read what’s on the page or can’t find a note).

I second recommendation of Bishop Barron’s work.

I think the internet’s anonymity attracts a general lack of prudence and fosters discontent. Especially since the Google algorithm tends to give you more of what it thinks you want, people get trapped in a bubble that is difficult to break out of and is liable to twisting their perspective, or radicalizing people. You have to consciously search for differing viewpoints. That’s one of the reasons I came to this forum originally, in fact.


I think there is just a mournful streak in a lot of Catholics – after all, aren’t we mourning and weeping in this vale of tears?


It’s not just us Catholics. It’s everyone from every group. About the only place you wouldn’t find negativity is in sites/forums that are focused on hobbies and such topics. Bird watching, woodworking, sewing, cooking, etc, where the community of interest and the members police themselves away from social and political controversies.


Self-martyrdom. :wink:


The Catholics I know are happy, joyful, fun people whom I mostly met online.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of curating whom you see online.


Bear, don’t you know that fun is forbidden on the open forum? There are a lot of fun-loving people on here: they are just hiding in group chats because there is always going to be someone on here that is going to find something objectionable about the most innocuous of things on here and one person is sufficient to kill a thread.


Well, I know I am, but it’s mostly because a) I miss all my dead loved ones and b) I’m a sinner with faults.
It’s not because some clergy person is in the paper having a scandal this morning.

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Oh yes, yes I know about the hidden fun. I’m just a bit frustrated today.

I have been making liberal use of the ignore feature, but maybe not quite enough.


I’ve been meaning to start a thread on this topic and have long stated that our faith is incomplete without a strong element of joy.

I’ve seen the phenomenon off-line, as well, even at my own parish.

Is our misery and rigidity a cultural thing? I’ve found Catholics more laid back in the Mediterranean, Philippines, and Latin America.


Yeah, the Hispanic churches and Masses I attend seem to have a lot of people who genuinely enjoy being there (even if they aren’t going to Communion) and don’t seem to complain as much or act like they’re being burdened.

Some of the “joyous” Catholics in real life get a bit happy-clappy at times, but there are also a good many, especially priests, who genuinely seem to radiate positivity and joy and peace.

I think this is more of an Internet issue. Internet is where people go to complain or rant about the state of things.


We’re supposed to be happy warriors, not angry sourpusses.


I find at my parish, people are generally joyful. I was speaking to a woman after daily mass yesterday. She is elderly and lost her husband ten months ago. She was cheerful and saying she’s confident her husband is with our Lord. She still drives and often brings her elderly friends to mass if they can’t drive. She is not unique. Yes, there are some who are not happy, but most are.

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I’m a tremendously JOYFUL & JOY FILLED Catholic because I know that my Lord is a living God with Divine Mercy. Even though I’m one big mess, BY HIS GRACE I will see Him one day and be with Him in Heaven for eternity. Now this isn’t guaranteed. I have to do my part and take up my cross and follow Him. Thank God we have a true devout holy good Priest who always helps us see that no matter what we’ve done we can bring it to Our Lord in Confession and start again. There is HOPE and yes being a Catholic is joyful!


Mother Angelica says that people don’t focus on the joys of Heaven (Heaven begins in this life) because we are afraid it is too beautiful for us.

Or as JRR Tolkien said in his books “You were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness”. :slight_smile:


Solve for x:

Mournful streak of Catholicism + American cultural puritanism =x


It’s hard not to be happy if you’re going to daily Mass. Even if you are struggling with a tragedy, you’re still happy that you got to spend some time with the Lord, got a little peace, got that small connection with your deceased loved one or whatever. I was coming out of church the other day behind a really elderly lady who was walking with difficulty using a cane and assisted by a man I assume was her son since he looked in his late 60s which would make him the right age to be this lady’s son. And he was going on about how Mass at this church (which is in a neighborhood that until recently was in serious decline and has only started to gentrify back to a reasonable level in the last 10 or so years) was “a little bit of heaven”.


As a convert from pentecostalism I can say yes, even among church cultures in the US. That said, the sober confrontation of life’s sufferings in the Catholic Church continue to encourage me. It’s a part of what drew me in the first place.

Also of note: Pentecostalism has it’s on brand of misery for sure. All the constant end times stuff for example. Or the constant need to call for culture war and a massive persecution complex. But that’s easier to see in perspective with such a more outwardly joyful religious tradition.


Also I think the Internet is where many intellectual/brainy-type Catholics go to read and write and think and worry instead of actually living and loving.

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