Pope Francis is big on joy. Not only is he always smiling and delighting in the people he meets, many of his writings express the joy he has in his faith. His first two (not counting the one he finished for Pope Benedict), The Joy of the Gospel and Praised Be!, are firmly planted in the theme of joy. A related topic, happiness, is one of the hottest trends in pop psychology. Based in a relatively new branch of psychology known as ‘positive psychology’, the ‘Happiness Movement’ has spawned conferences, books, talks, reality tv shows and more. Not surprisingly, much of the positive psychology research is affirming some of the long held principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Read on as we unpack some of the insights. Enjoy! Francine Pirola CathFamily Founder & Interim Editor Definition of JOY a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion \ a state of happiness or felicity a source or cause of delight “Joy.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation. Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.