Posts Tagged ‘gift of life’

Reflection on ‘Joy’

May 8, 2009

Joy.  The burst of enlightenment.  The feeling you experience when someone, something makes the sun shine on your day.  I continue on sharing here the reflections of Fr. Arboleda in St Paul Publications “Prayers for Busy People”.

Here, Fr. Arboleda speaks that ‘Joy’ is God’s gift of life.  You wouldn’t feel that burst of enlightenment without God making you experience life.  Let us feel loved by our Creator, whenever we feel “joy”.  Read on…..



Joy is one of the most elusive of all human experiences.  You can’t catch it when you want it and you lose it even when you are already touching it with your fingertips.  But when you give up chasing it, it alights on your head, like a butterfly, and changes the world for you; the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the drab colorful and the workday special.  And you are taken aback, always in surprise, because joy comes when you least expect it.


Joy can come from many sources.  And most of where it comes from are ordinary and simple.  Joy can come from a smile, a kind word, the sunrise after a nightlong rain, a flower that blooms from a plant you’ve cared for, a long-lost friend met in a busy thoroughfare, a good meal, a moment of recognition.  Sometimes it also comes from silence.  But joy comes, it does come.


The only condition – and this is the most difficult to arrange – is that you yourself must be ready to welcome joy.  You must never lose your sense of wonderment and awe, your capacity for surprise and playfulness.  Joy does not come to those who have turned stiff not to those who have remained but superficial.  Joy comes when we are most childlike.


Joy comes to everyone: but it can fill us only by the amount of space we give it in our hearts.  Strangely, our hearts have been created by God not just with the capacity for joy; God has put in them also the longing and the yearning for joy.  Yes, the human heart is ever longing to be filled with joy.


The joke, however, is that when we focus our attention on the absence of joy in our hearts and if we spend our energies to fill that absence, we never will be truly joyful.  On the contrary, our awareness of the absence of joy even intensifies.  The least joyful persons are really those who spend a great deal of time and energy seeking joy.  They drive themselves chasing joy but joy is always a step ahead of them, so near and yet so far.


Joy is, first of all, a gift of life itself.  There is harmony in life.  Such harmony made earthly paradise what it was.  It is harmony of things, of all living beings where each has a place under the sun.


To anyone who seeks to restore such harmony to life, life pays joy in exchange.  It is enough to remember great persons and many others like them who may not be as famous, who have given or are giving their lives in order that social justice be established, exploitation stopped, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick cured.  Doubtless, these people never lived easy lives; but one could easily see in their eyes the sparkle of inner joy.


Joy is a gift of God.  There are many things in life that cannot be appeased by things material.  There are many things in the human heart that, humanly speaking, cannot be erased.  Can a man who has betrayed his friend or wife be ever at peace?  Can a sinner be ever joyful as long as he lives in guilt?


Joy is God’s gift because joy is what comes when our guilt is taken away.  And only God can forgive our sins and can take away our guilt.