Thought of the Day June 1, 2023 Joy, fruit of love

By 10:16 AM

 "Joy is essential to the spiritual life. Whatever we may think of or say about God, when we are not joyful, our thoughts and words cannot bear fruit. Jesus reveals to us God’s love so that his joy may become ours and that our joy may become complete. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing—sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death—can take that love away. Joy is not the same as happiness. We can be unhappy about many things, but joy can still be there because it comes from the knowledge of God’s love for us. . . . Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us." (Henri Nouwen)

It is so sad to see so many joyless Christians. They are only nominal Christians. What is lacking in their life is the conviction that they are loved by God, not because of who they are but who God is. It is my choice to accept, believe and live this grace of God's love.  And when I do, the fruit of God's love in me will be that inner joy that will sustain me in all circumstances. No wonder St. Paul would exclaim: "Rejoice in the Lord always."

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