“God deliver us from silly devotions and sour faced saints."
This saying is attributed to St. Teresa of Avila and more than amply backed up by many other such statements in her writings.
I don’t know about you, but I can never picture a Pharisee with a broad smile on his face! Everything is serious, competitive and goes against the grain – the grain that is, of happy human living.
How come religion is associated with glumness, boredom and even pain? We keep meeting people in the Gospels and the other writings of the New Testament who are filled with joy and enthusiasm, and St. Paul lists joy second in his list of the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,…”
No joy, no holiness.
There is joy which can rest deep in our hearts in the midst of suffering and pain as well as when all is going well for us.
Edith Stein, a Jewess and philosopher had embraced atheism in her youth. While searching for the truth she was thrown into confusion when, on going to visit a young and newly widowed friend and wondering how to console her, found a profound joy in the young woman, born of her faith and hope in Christ. Edith later became a Catholic and a Carmelite Nun before dying in Auswitch.
Joy comes with freedom and love.
No joy, no freedom.
 Galatians 5:22