happiness is not a potato

The only real thing, especially in the child’s world, which the child accepts easily, is precisely joy. We have made our Christianity so adult, so serious, so sad, so solemn that we have almost emptied it of that joy. Yet Christ Himself said, “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” To become as a child in Christ’s terms means to be capable of that spiritual joy of which an adult is almost completely incapable. To enter into that communion with things, with nature, with other people without suspicion of fear or frustration. We often use the term “grace.” But what is grace? Charisma in Greek means not only grace but also joy. “And I will give you the joy that no one will take away from you…”

If I stress this point so much, it is because I am sure that, if we have a message to our own people, it is that message of Easter joy which finds its climax on Easter night. When we stand at the door of the church and the priest has said, “Christ Is Risen,” then the night becomes in the terms of St. Gregory of Nyssa, “lighter than the day.” This is the secret strength, the real root of Christian experience. Only within the framework of this joy can we understand everything else.

Alexander Schmemann, Easter in the Liturgical Year (via invisibleforeigner)

And that’s why candy. 

(via galesofnovember)

I think that’s also an answer to the question I’ve been asking lately — to wit, why does Christmas get emphasized over Easter. I mean, his birth is pretty damn important, but the central mystery of the faith is his sacrifice and resurrection.

But it’s a lot easier to convey spiritual joy through “unto you a Savior is born, full of hope for the future and love for mankind, and incidentally, he’s an adorable baby surrounded by adorable farm animals.” Trying to work with “So Jesus was executed in an extremely unpleasant fashion, and he went to Hell to do some housecleaning, and then he came back but by that time his friends were pretending they never knew him” is somewhat more difficult.