On True Joy

Heavenly Joy

True joy comes from seeing God in all things, knowing God in all things. To know of God in the wisdom of the mind, this brings shimmers of peace and a foretaste of joy. Yet such joy is bounded, able to be swayed; for he who knows God’s presence but in part, still is able to imagine His absence. One who sees God only in this place or in that, sees Him missing from those places in between. His joy is fleeting, for as in a moment it arises in the perception of God’s presence, so it retreats in the illusion of His absence.

The one whose joy is stable, solid and penetrating, is he who knows of God’s presence among all things, with all things, and in all things. Even as in the temple, so, too, in the school. Even as in the Church, so, too, in the field. From the brightest star to the smallest blade of grass, he sees the beautiful mystery of Christ present as all in all. He beholds the leaf with reverence, as the vessel of his direct encounter with the grace of God. He beholds his sister with love, seeing in her the energies of the blessed Divinity. He begins to see God present in more and more, and absent from less and less; until he comes to the divine realization that there is no place that God is not, that the whole of creation around him shimmers in radiance with the presence of the Most Holy. He understands that perceptions of God’s absence are but an illusion in which there is no truth.

Then is joy most full, most pure. Then it is unfailing, for in all things is God encountered; and where God is, there true joy also abides. Even in sorrow, joy is known; for the earth itself cries out in witness of Christ’s presence in the sorrow — of the divine love that pervades even the deepest human grief. In loneliness, one too finds joy: for all creation sings of the Creator’s grace, and through it the Creator Himself is present, reaching out to His children.

Behold God the all-present, all-loving, all-merciful Father, everywhere existing and ever the same. Behold the source and giver of joy, abounding in this world of life. Behold God indeed, who has the power to save and the compassion to redeem.



4 Responses to “On True Joy”

  1. 1 Отец Андрей April 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I find your webside very interested! Congratulations!

  2. 2 Mary April 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you so much! God Bless. 🙂

  3. 3 roger9527 April 26, 2010 at 6:08 am

    god help me

  4. 4 Отец Андрей April 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Every day and every moment we shall say “Lord, glory to you” This, say elder Paisios, that worths much more than to say “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me” When we say glory to God we actualy praise God for all. Joys and sorrows! God bless you! sorry for my bad english….

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St. Mary of Egypt


St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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