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Topic Tuesday: Celebrate the God-given pleasures of life

“It’s important for everyone to know we can encourage joy in our homes…. Remember that it’s never too late, we are never too old to have fun and play with each. It’s such an important aspect of life.”

So said the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission’s (AFLC) mental health clinician Crystal Johnson during the weekly Topic Tuesday segment.

Johnson and co-host Cherisse Aqui-Crosby continued the live eight-part conversation April 27, on the virtues of Catholic sexuality based on Greg and Lisa Popcak’s Beyond the Birds and the Bees.

Tuesday’s conversation was on ‘Joy’.

In her usual approach, Johnson began with a definition of joy. She highlighted that joy, according to the Birds and the Bees, is the ability to celebrate the God-given pleasures of life.

Joy, Johnson stressed, is an important part of one’s sexuality.

“Because it allows us to celebrate the wonders of life, through not only the physical connection that we make with our spouses, but also playing and being silly and laughing and having fun with our spouses, and, of course, our children. Joy is just happiness out loud,” Johnson said.

She observed that the continued lockdown has provided opportunities to have fun together as a family.

“Simple” activities such as playing games and even playfully teasing each other are great expressions of joy and happiness for the entire family. Johnson gave the example of children playing hide and seek.

. “It’s beyond just playing hide and seek and doing an activity. It brings a joy in me when I see their bright faces. And they laugh so hard…. bringing all that joy to children brings out that joy in us as parents and individuals. Then I start to reflect on how lucky I am to have these beautiful gifts of children,” she shared.

The AFLC’s eight-part series commenced March 16 and culminates Tuesday, May 4. Next Tuesday’s conversation is on ‘Personhood’.

Prior virtues discussed were:

1. Love: the ability to give oneself with the intention of self-donative love for the other

2. Responsibility: the ability to exercise self-discipline/healthy self-control and the need to not treat people as things or less than things

3. Faith: the ability to invite God into every aspect of your life, holding nothing back

4. Respect: the ability to treat yourself and others as persons created by God for love

5. Intimacy: the ability to communicate well on both verbal and emotional levels

6. Cooperation: the ability to respectfully plan and problem-solve with another

7. Joy: the ability to celebrate the life God has given you and to enjoy fully, all the permitted pleasure He created for you