Joy is both a virtue and a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It provides an experience of happiness parallel to nothing else; a sense of deep contentment and satisfaction.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shared his thoughts on this virtue in his 2012 address at World Youth day, where he stated, “Joy is an important witness to the beauty and reliability of the Christian faith… God wants us to share in his own divine and eternal joy, and he helps us to see that the deepest meaning and value of our lives lie in being accepted, welcomed and loved by him.” I personally feel that joy, described by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, every time I receive Holy Communion. My heart wells up with Joy! That is because, at the moment I receive Holy Communion, I am being accepted, welcomed and loved by God in such an intimate way.
True joy guards our hearts too, as described by Blessed Mother Teresa in the book, Thirsting for God, “Joy is one of the best safeguards against temptation. The devil is a carrier of dust and dirt and he uses every opportunity to throw what he has at us. But a joyful heart protects us from this dirt. That is because Jesus is there in our joy. Jesus takes full possession of our soul when we surrender to him joyfully … Joy is a source of power for us” (p. 38). It becomes a source of power for us because the power is Jesus. Joy can be contagious. During this Christmas season, find a Scrooge, and spread some joy. Help someone take the misery out of miserable. If you are the Scrooge, then allow Jesus to take full possession of your soul and allow Him to fill you with Joy!
How does one embrace Joy? We’ll address the answer to that question in our next reflection on the virtue of Joy. Don’t miss it!
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