You would think that we are going to say joy versus sadness, but no. The virtue, yes, is joy, but what we have to fight against today is indifference. Indifference is where you just sort of give up and you don’t make any effort. You’re not sad, sad but you’re not really, well, anything. Indifferent is the word.
How can I practice joy at a HM summer camp?
It’s early in the morning. There are some Sisters outside banging at the door, blowing a really loud whistle and singing songs. I do not feel like jumping out of bed right now and standing outside the cabin, but the Holy Spirit reminds me that I have to practice joy. I jump out of bed and tell all the rest of my group and I run outside and start singing, too. The rest of the group looks at you and say, “I didn’t know that you made your Guardian Angel smile.”
We’re going to play a game of volleyball. As soon as you arrive to where we are about to play, you sit down. “I’ll watch you guys,” you say, “I don’t feel like playing.” The rest of your team reminds you that the virtue for today is joy and that teamwork and participation is really important. You think for a while and instead of remaining there indifferent, you ask them to help you up and you also play. When the other team wins, with joy you give them a high five.
At night everyone prepares a song, dance or skit to show the rest of the camp. You say that you’ll turn on the music, but your team really needs you to be in the dance.
You tell them that you don’t know how to dance, but they say that it doesn’t matter. If you all mess up at least the others can laugh. Maybe you don’t feel so joyful about doing it, but thinking that what you do can bring joy to others, you decide to do it.
True joy is in giving, not receiving. When we share the talents that we have with others we can bring joy. Even if you don’t feel like doing it, when you make an effort you not only bring joy to others, but you yourself begin to change. The virtue of joy is essential at summer camp. So today let’s see smiley faces and happy campers!