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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leapt for Joy

When has your heart leapt for joy? Dolphins are able to show their playfulness and joy by leaping high out of the water. I love to watch them and think that sometimes my heart does leap for joy. Of course, there are all kinds of joy. Sitting among parents at the first football game of the year, you could feel their joy when the son caught a pass. That is a passing joy and certainly did not happen often yesterday in the first game of the season. The other team's players looked huge next to ours and I was told they were not in our league and so the game did not count, but we were outplayed.
To go back to the joys we feel, some are so deep and quiet that we may not leap, but only savor the moment in a more profound way. I guess when I feel great gratitude, I also feel deep joy. God loves me and that is the basic reason for my joy.
Mother Theresa, who seems to have spent much of her religious life in a dark night, has this to say about joy:

"Joy is prayer--joy is strength--joy is love= joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen."
(Quoted by Bishop Robert Morneau in Growing in Joy, p. 26)

May we realize that love and gratitude are the wellsprings of joy and the thought of the risen Lord should be a way for all of us to experience joy even in the midst of sorrow. The joy will be deep within even when we are feeling sorrow.

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