Gaudete in Domino

Apostolic Exhortation on Christian Joy
Pope Paul VI
May 9, 1975

Brief History
Link to Complete Document

Brief History
1975 was proclaimed by Pope Paul VI as a Holy Year. Gaudete in Domino situates the current concerns and shows the remedy the Holy Spirit will provide. The crisis the document focuses on is the sacrament of reconciliation. In this document the Holy Father only briefly touches the difficulties. Instead, he points out the sources of joy in the Christian life lived according to the Holy Spirit's indwelling. To live in grace is to find joy. The document states:

Unfortunately, in our century which is so threatened by the illusion of false happiness, we do not lack opportunities of noting the psychic inability of man to accept "the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14)

Spiritual discernment is possible only in the Holy Spirit. Mary masters of this discernment. It is she who can sing, "My soul rejoices in God my Savior." (Cf. Lk 1:46-8)

The attainment of such an outlook is not just a matter of psychology. It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit, who dwells fully in the person of Jesus, made him during his earthy life so alert to the joys of daily life, so tactful and persuasive for putting sinners back on the road to a new youth of heart and mind! It is this same Spirit who animated the Blessed Virgin and each of the saints.
Mary knows the beatitude promised by the outpouring of the Spirit: "With Christ, she sums up in herself all joys; she lives the perfect joy promised to the Church: Mater plena sanctae laetitiae. And it is with good reason that her children on earth, turning to her who is the mother of hope and of grace, invoke her as the cause of their joy: Causa nostrae laetitiae."
  • The strengthening joy of the Spirit
  • Our intention: a hymn in praise of joy
I. All Men Feel the Need of Joy
  • The natural experience of joy
  • Joy is especially difficult today
  • The message of joy is needed more than ever
  • Educating men to experience natural joys
  • The sadness of non-believers
II. The Anticipations of Christian Joy in the Old Testament
  • Passover, Psalms, and New Jerusalem
III. Joy According to the New Testament
  • The human joys of Jesus
  • The deeper joy of Jesus
  • Christ's disciples are to share his joy
  • Christian joy is based on both the death and the resurrection of Jesus
  • The work of the Spirit in the soul
  • The law of Christian life and apostolate
IV. The Joy in the Hearts of the Saints
  • The Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The martyrs
  • The message of the spiritual masters
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • St. Therese of Lisieux
  • Blessed Maximilian Kolbe
  • Joy is diffusive
  • Joy turns us to God
V. A Joy for the Whole People?
  • Those with responsibilities
  • The need of leadership
  • Sin the greatest obstacle to joy
VI. A Joy for the Whole People?
  • The spiritual significance of youth
  • Reasons for the Church's confidence
  • Grounds for hoping in today's youth
  • Exhortation to the young
VII. The Joy of the Holy Year Pilgrim
  • The renewal desired by the Council
  • The real goal of our pilgrimage
  • We want all to share Our joy
  • Unity a necessity
  • Our joy is rooted in God
  • Great importance of the Eucharist
Link to complete document on the Vatican web page
On Christian Joy

Note: To locate a specific quote once you have reached the document, use ctrl+f to search.

AAS 67 (May 31, 1975): 289-322
St Paul Editions, 1975

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