Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Being happy for the joy of other people - it sweetens life.

Back in 1999 I spent a week at the Taize Community in Burgundy, France,


I was there, by happenstance, with my Diocese of Western Massachusetts colleague Mark Beckwith (now the Bishop of Newark, N.J.)

Although the food at the Taize Community is only a few notches above abominable, the deep experience of the palpable presence of God was glorious.

The mission of the Taize Community is to  young adults aged 18-35.  We older folks ate, slept, and joined in small groups in a distinct area, It  was clear that we were there under a rubric of gracious sufferance -  and that was all to the good.

Of course both young and old shared in prayer and worship at the daily services,

The old ones also got to mix with the 18-35 age group at the late afternoon snack time.

At one of those snack times I observed a group of teen aged Germans as they played with "Devil Sticks" see

I grinned from ear to ear as I watched the sheer joy of one of these young Germans.

It "happened" that at the end of the week, as I walked toward the parking area I saw this young man as he moved with his parents to their car,

I asked "is this your son?"  "Yes' said the parents,

I told them the story of my deep pleasure when I watched their son play with the "devil sticks"..

 Goodness gracious that made them so happy.  And the son grinned from ear to ear!

Their joy  made me so happy,


A new fracquaintance (John)  moved to this area in 2015 to be with his partner (and now spouse) Rick.

John and Rick recently took a cruise out of Tampa -  a first for both of them.

I saw John and Rick last Monday.  John was bubbling with joy and pleasure -  he had enjoyed his first cruise so much,

On Tuesday morning I bumped into Rick and John as they walked their four  dogs,  (Rick has two standard poodles - Louis and Vuitton,  John has two Black Labs - Anne and Katie.)

John was still grinning from ear to ear.  He was buoyant and boyish about his first Caribbean cruse.

His joy made me so happy.


Bob and Virgina are a nonagenarian couple who have been married for 67 years. They live nearby,  I encounter them most mornings on my  \second walk with Penne.

As I saw them at a distance this morning my heart/soul/mind combined to to make me smile.

I was smiling  because I know that Virginia and  Bob have learned to be content.

We talked about this. 

Virginia and Bob were very "chuffed" to hear my affirmation of their commitment and contentment.


Contentment is a gift,  

It is also  a learned  behaviour 

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