Where does joy come from? Where do we find it? Joy is hard to describe but it has something to do with a deep satisfaction about our lives. The joyful person is one who can find peace and goodness no matter what life throws at him or her. Circumstances do not ultimately affect joy that is deep and genuine.

If we look outside of ourselves for the source of joy then we are surely going to be disappointed. Genuine joy is not found in anything outside of ourselves. It is not found in what we own -- it is not found in our life style or in our jobs. It is not even found in others -- not even in those who love us. It's true that we may find satisfaction in what we do and in what we own, and we may find great contentment in the love that others give to us, but all of that can be taken away in a few short minutes. All it takes is an accident or some sudden disaster, and all we have can disappear before our very eyes. While not denying that things and people can bring great satisfaction

to us, we have to ask ourselves this rather difficult question. If everything I have were to be taken from me, would I still experience a peace and a joy in my heart?

If we can honestly answer that question with a confident 'yes', then we can rest assured that we possess the joy that God wishes us to have. This is so because our joy cannot be tied to this thing or to that person. Most of us can accept that our happiness cannot be tied to some possession, but when it comes to our human relationships it's often a different story. Many of us would be reluctant to say that we would still retain our joy and peace if a loved one was taken away. Our trust in God has to go so deep that no matter what happens to the one who is closest to us, we would still not lose our peace of heart.

    Peace, Fr. John

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