joy


While I was in Mass this evening, I was reflecting on the difference between joy and happiness after receiving communion. I am happy with my life now. I really like my job and find a great deal of fulfillment with my work. I like where I live, the trips I get to take, the friends I get to see. My family is healthy and I get to visit and communicate with them often. I really have nothing to complain about. However when I was in Mass, kneeling after receiving His Body and Blood, I couldn't think of the last time I was truly joyful, truly filled with a sense of wonder and awe. I realized that the last long stretch of time that I truly felt joyful was in college when I was extremely involved with my college campus ministry group. Sure, I was crazy stressed at certain points and I may not have been happy with everything that came my way, but I experienced true moments of Joy brought by God, whether in a Bible study, on a retreat, in Adoration or teaching at Sunday school. There have been fleeting times since, but I think I lost track of joy and what joy truly was to cultivate and appreciate it. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and as this super reliable website says, " The "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit's cultivation of character in a heart." Joy doesn't come from worldly things, from accomplishments, achievements and the things we acquire. Joy is a gift that comes from cultivating something within our hearts. Joy comes from God within ourselves, not from outside sources. Over the past few weeks, I'm been realizing more and more of my need and desire to come back to the heart of it all, to the heart of worship, to the heart of Jesus, and it is then, when I come back to Him, that I will find my joy.