Is Joy the Most Important Emotion?

*This video looks at emotions in the movie Inside Out. The 5 major emotions of the main character, a girl named Riley, are personified as cartoon characters.

(View segment from 0 to 7:46)
Is joy the emotion we want to feel the most?

  • Yes.
  • However, it is crucial that we learn the difference between temporary joy in this lifetime (enjoying good feelings) and eternal joy in Heaven.
  • We are attracted to temporary joy in this life, yet we are made for eternal joy- total communion with God in heaven.1

Why, then, did God give us other emotions, if we were made for everlasting joy?

  • All our emotions are gifts that help us to better appreciate eternal joy.2
  • Each emotion helps us recognize ways in which joy is missing:3
    • Sadness signals us that some good thing for us to enjoy is lacking.
    • Anger alarms us into action when an injustice is committed against our joy or someone else’s joy.
    • Fear forewarns us that we may lose joy in the future.
    • Disgust helps us feel repulsed by things that steal our joy.

To grow in emotional maturity, how should we approach and deal with our various emotions?

  • We pay attention to our emotions, feel them, and listen to what God is telling us through them.4
  • We don’t let ourself be ruled by them- even by joy (temporary joy), but allow our reason to rule.5
  • We courageously choose the good and the right thing to do to reach eternal joy, even when that means saying ‘no’ to some temporary joys in this lifetime.5

1) CCC 1718 & 221
2) CCC 1762
3) CCC 1765
4) CCC 1769 & 1770
5) CCC 1767 & 1768