December 2005 (Vol. XVIII, No. 11)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Wishing you a heart full of JOY, dear friends!!

The potential for Holy Joy is ever within us.  While happiness comes in outward, ephemeral moments, deep inner joy can be a lasting gift. For silence is like a garden of gentle joy that grows and radiates out connecting us to one another and, indeed, to the world. Joy is a healing balm that awakens us to our innate wholeness and holiness.  May we each cultivate and activate the seeds of joy gestating in our own unique heart-garden of silence.

Joy is both in the front row and in the bleachers

The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that Love is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, Love is under the porch as well as on the top of the mountain, and JOY is both in the front row and in the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.

~ from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

An upwelling of heart-opening joy

When we are able to accept being accepted, able to receive the loving, listening presence of God b oth embodied in others and hidden in their hearts, we experience God as Love, resulting spontaneously in gratitude, praise and joy. I mean an upwelling of heart-breaking, heart-opening thankfulness and joy that such Love could be, that we could be in it, that it could be in us, that we are all in it together.

~ from LISTENBING SPIRITUALITY, Vol. 1 by Patricia Loring

The only true joy on earth

The only true joy on earth is the escape from the prison of our own false selse, and enter by Love into union with the Life who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.

~ by Thomas Merton

Joy is our goal

Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things can be. Joy is not necessarily what happens when things unfold according to our own plans... Joy demands that we have the audacity to embrtavce the knowledge of just how  beautiful we really are and how infinitely powerful we are right now -- without changing a thing -- through the grace that's consistently born and reborn in us.

~ by Marianne Williamson

The practice of joyousness

Practice is everything; you practice to acquire facility in every art; but not one of these will repay you to the extent that the practice of joyousness will.  Fall asleep at night, awaken in the morning; in the silence know, "All is joy." Then one day it will begin to work within you; you'll retain that joy as a permanent consciousness. Seek ye the realm of joy -- one of Love's holy attributes!

~ by Cyril Scott

The joy of discovering that joy exists

Jeremy found joy in the midst of Block 57. He found it during moments of the day where we found only fear. And he found it in such great abundance that when he was present we felt it rise in us. Inexplicable sensation, incredible even, there where we were: joy was going to fill us. Imagine this gift which Jeremy gave us! ... The joy of discovering that joy exists, that it is in us, just exactly as life is, without conditions and which no condition, even the worst, can kill. We did not understand, but we thanked him, time and time again.

~ from AGAINST THE POLLUTION OF THE I by Jacques Lussayran

Full of you, full of joy

O thou dweller in my heart,
Open it out, purify it, make it bright, beautiful,
Awaken it, prepare it, make it fearless,
Make it a blessing to others,
Rid it of laziness, free it from doubt,
Unite it with all, destroy its bondage,
Let thy peaceful music prevade all its works,
Make my heart fixed on thy holy feet
And make it full of you, full of joy, full of joy,.

~ by Mohandas Gandhi

The fulness of joy

The fulness of joy is to behold God in all things.

~ by Julian of Norwich

Joy and woe are woven fine

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

~ by William Blake

Joy is the happiness of the soul

Happiness is the joy of the heart;
joy is the happiness of the soul.

~ by Daphne Rose Kingma

Joyful are the poor

Listen and I will tell you who are the people open to Joy whom God has blessed. Joyful are the poor, for nothing stands between them and the Realm of Love. Tilled with Joy are the sorrowful, for their souls are made strong through suffering. In Joyful surrender are the humble, for they receive the whole world as a gift. Joyful are they who long for holiness as one longs for food, for they shall enjoy Love's plenty. Joyful are the mercifully judged.  Filled with Joy are they who establish peace for they share God's very nature. Joyful are the single-hearted for they know Love.

~ by Dorothy R. Sayers, adapted thanks to Elsa Walberg

The uncovering of deeper levels of joy

The spiritual life is the uncovering of deeper and deeper levels of joy until that joy that streams from the God-head itself is realized and known in every breath. Every increase in joy is an increase in strength and peace of soul and an increase in all the powers of creativity that reveal life as a divine dance.

~ from THE MYSTIC VISION by Andrew Harvey and Anne Baring

A life of joy is not in seeking happiness

A life of joy is not in seeking happiness, but in experiencing and simply being the circumstances of our life as they are.

~ by Charlotte Joko Beck

Just itself must have been the impelling force

I felt first of all joyous. I felt that which joy is made of, and I realized that Joy itself must have been the impelling force, that which was before we were there, and that somehow Joy was in every part of our making. When the world was an ooze without any shape or direction, there must have been Joy reaching out and expressing itself everywhere.

~ from SILENCE AND LIGHT by Louis I. Kahn

Seeing joy where I expect only sadness

I have made a friend who is so deeply connected with God that he can see joy where I expect only sadness. He travels much and meets countless people. When he shares, he tells of the hidden joys he has found: someone who brought him hope and peace, little groups of people who are faithful to each other in the midst of turmoil, the small wonders of Gexhilerating od. At times I realize that I am disappointed because I want to hear "newspaper news," exciti9ng and stories. But he never responds to my need for sensationalism. He keeps saying: "I saw something very small and very beautiful, something that gave me much joy."

~ from RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Henri Houwen

The perfectest herald of joy

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy.

~ by Shakespeare

Tasting the peace of paradise

If we want to live like a feather on the Wind, we must strive at least once a day to taste the peace of paradise that dwells within us. We need to find some time each day to sit quietly in peace, in stillness, savoring the mystery of God within us. Such silent sitting will not only prepare us to find "eternal rest" at the time of our death; it will help us find infinite peace in the midst of the problems of life.

~ from FEATHERS ON THE WIND by Edward Hays
Feathers on the Wind
By Edward Hays