Joy: A Heart Fulfilled in Christ
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col. 3:16 NKJV
Joy is that deep, supernatural fulfillment that comes in knowing that we are experiencing and expressing the one who is true satisfaction, Jesus Christ. Joy is knows that we are unconditionally loved, graciously forgiven, and eternally kept. Joy is released in our lives when we cultivate Christ’s conscious, constant presence. Joy is not produced by celebration or emotional highs: supernatural fulfillment is imparted by obedience to God’s commands (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
The loss of joy does not make the world better — and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the courage and impetus to do good. We have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press,), 36-37.
All our life is like a day of celebration for us; we are convinced, in fact, that God is always everywhere. We work while singing, we sail while reciting hymns, we accomplish all other occupations of life while praying.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 A.D.)