Thursday, March 10, 2011

Joy

What does it mean to be joyful? What makes you happy?  Do you find a endless cycle of happiness and joy followed by sadness, sorrow, pain or even despair.  This is the normal pattern in today's life.  We gear ourselves up for a big event, a dinner out, a sports activity, and achievement of a new position or rank, an increase in salary, then, once we have experienced this that we anticipated with such eagerness, have experienced the joy of it, we are left feeling a bit empty.  This kind of joy does never lasts.


Monk Moses the Athonite tells us,
Some think that joy will be found in unbridled fun, shameless revels, the overnight hunt for pleasure, the celebration of drunkenness, the drunkenness of luxury, extravagance and indulgence. If one could photograph the depths of the hearts of these patrons of so-called entertainment centers, we would observe an abyss of pain, desolation, coldness and hard loneliness. Joy is not sold in any store nor bought with little or much money..... They return from secular entertainment jaded, downcast, sad, more alone. Some think that all rich people are quite happy. This is a big lie, which often is confirmed by the same. 
Our self-efforts to create happiness are all in vain.  What ever we seek through our own will is temporary.  In the end it does not satisfy.  Our souls seek more,  something that is beyond our own will.  True and lasting joy only comes from God.  It comes when we are in touch with what is divine and above our human will.  It brings us lasting life-giving warmth, peace, inner cheerfulness, and an unbothered conscience.  True joy is liberating.


Monk Moses says,
Wanting to become independent and self-deified, he became estranged automatically from the source of his great joy. Joy is for the soul of man what bread and water is for his body. Joy is divine inspiration, life-giving warmth, the mother of health and sister of wonderful consolation.... Joy is the light of the virtuous. It springs from the depths of existence. It is not something make-believe, exterior, illusory, but something quite profound and certainly more important. 
One who does not seek God, and act willfully through His grace, cannot experience lasting joy.


Moses the Monk tells us,
Basil the Great points out that an ungodly person cannot be completely and truly joyful. Sophocles in Antigone will say: "Man without God is a seafaring pauper." Saint John Chrysostom says that good will and true joy do not come with the size of one's possessions, nor the amount of one's money, nor the size of one's sovereignty, nor physical strength, nor luxurious tables, nor fashionable clothing, but only in spiritual accomplishments and a good conscience.
The endless food of joy is virtue. The selfish, the individualist, the miser, the hater cannot be happy. Joy cannot be jealous of anyone, nor hostile nor hateful. One's joy is gained with humility, patience, truth, freedom and love. True joy comes lovingly to every sincere, honorable, heroic and saintly person. Our age suffers from a lack of true joy, and sorrow is at a surplus through evil and dishonor. The option is open for the acquisition of true joy indeed.

Reference 

6 comments:

  1. this is so true. i think that today, people are caught up in worldly, . They replace christs love for material things.

    we, as orthodox christians, need to be joyful in christ all the time not just some of the time

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  2. Dear Deacon Joiner, we noticed that the word "vain" is misspelled.

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  3. Fr Dn Joiner, we miss your daily postings. I hope you didn't give up blogging for lent :) However, it does give me time to go back and read some of the prior postings that I've missed. - Matt

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  4. ...im sorry for my earlier offensive posting Fr Dn Joiner

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