Pope: Parties Can Be Organized, But Joy Is a Gift

Says It Has Been Given in Abundance

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that joy is a gift, a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and that in this gift, all others are summed up.

This was one of the Pope’s reflections Monday when he met with the Roman Curia and other officials for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings.

«A party is an integral part of joy,» the Holy Father acknowledged. «And a party can be organized, but joy cannot.

«It can only be offered as a gift; and, in fact, it has been given us in abundance. That’s why we feel grateful.»

The Pontiff recalled how St. Paul lists joy among the fruits of the Holy Spirit and in the same way, St. John unites the Spirit and joy.

«Joy is the gift in which all other gifts are summed up,» the Bishop of Rome affirmed, just a few days before Christmas. «It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with oneself, something that can only be derived from being in harmony with God and his creation.»

And, he continued, «part of the nature of joy is spreading itself, having to be communicated.»

The mission of the Church, the Pope explained, «is nothing more than the impulse to communicate the joy that has been given us. May it always be alive in us, and then, may it irradiate to the world in its tribulations: This is my wish for the end of this year.»

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