It is important to clarify that as Catholics we don’t publish such things with a some sort of masochist spirit. The various challenging and painful situations that people go through are not in themselves good things, just the opposite. Yet, as Christians, we try to understand their pain or difficulty and accompany them with our solidarity, affection and prayer.
So, why is it that we make these posts with sick and challenged people singing “Happy”? Here’s the deal. No one can sing “Happy” just because they are sick or in a difficult situation, they sing because they have something more than that! These songs, from my point of view, celebrate the fact that life and personal happiness cannot be reduced to a sickness or be defined by it. Why do we do these kind of posts? Because our world is one that constantly valorizes and judges the human being according to his or her utility and capacities; all of which is based on an essentially materialistic vision of the person. This same world then goes on to discard them, with the proud pretension of knowing and defining the true conditions of happiness and human life. For this, its worth the effort to promote and celebrate these cultural expressions that oppose and defy such modus intelligendi et operandi (way of thinking and acting).
Where is true happiness? Who has the right to sing “Happy”? We all do. Because there isn’t anyone in this world– no matter all the pain or difficulties they might experience– who has lost the possibility to love and be loved. Period. There isn’t anything else to say. I don’t care if we are talking about deafness, blindness, physical sickness, elderliness or Down Syndrome. Not even the terrible situation of our brothers in Gaza or the painful tragedy of those brave Christians being persecuted in Iraq. Not only have they not lost the possibility to love and be loved, rather, paradoxically these situations many times become privileged opportunities to love and to open oneself to love in a heroic way. Lastly, absolutely no one can separate us from the infinite gift of being loved by God; and it is upon that Love that our value as a human beings rests.
“Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or danger? Or persecution? Or the sword? As it is written: For thy sake, we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rm 8, 35-39)
For these reasons, with great joy, I share the following songs:
“Happy” with physical discapacities
“Happy” in situations of illness
“Happy” with Down Syndrome
“Happy” with old age
“Happy” youth in Gaza
And finally, because holiness and the encounter with God is the only foundation that can guarantee us authentic happiness, the version of “Happy” performed for the celebration of the canonizations of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII.