For this Gaudete Sunday, we offer a quote from St John f the Cross whose feast day falls on Monday 14th December. In this quote, John asks us to rejoice in everything that is at the service of God.
In the second quote, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI offers a classic insight into genuine freedom and joy.
'People should not rejoice over riches, neither when they possess them nor when their neighbour possesses them, unless God is served through them. Nothing but what belongs to the service of God should be the object of our joy. Any other joy would be vain and worthless, for joy that is out of harmony with God is of no value to the soul’. St John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, 18.
‘The person who abandons himself totally in God's hands does not become God's puppet, a boring "yes man"; he does not lose his freedom. Only the person who entrusts himself totally to God finds true freedom, the great, creative immensity of the freedom of good.
The person who turns to God does not become smaller but greater, for through God and with God he becomes great, he becomes divine, he becomes truly himself. The person who puts himself in God's hands does not distance himself from others, withdrawing into his private salvation; on the contrary, it is only then that his heart truly awakens and he becomes a sensitive, hence, benevolent and open person. The closer a person is to God, the closer he is to people. We see this in Mary. The fact that she is totally with God is the reason why she is so close to human beings’ .
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 8th December 2005.