State of JOY: joyFOOLness or joyFULLness?

by: Sr. Joy De Vera, RA

Every one of us has a history of looking back and being grateful. My constant virtue companion that the Lord graced me with is the gift of Joy! However, I just realized as I become more reflective that there are two kinds of “joy” present in my journey all along. These are the joy wherein I was immersed to foolishness of my choices and the joy that led me to freedom and fullness.

My joy-FOOL-ness experiences are momentarily joy which are based more on the externals.

I tried chasing it.

I tried grabbing it.

I tried looking for it.

I tried buying it.

I tried playing with it.

I tried tasting it.

I tried wearing it.

I tried driving it.

I tried living with it.

I tried travelling with it.

I tried drinking it.

I tried keeping it.

I tried…tried…and tried…  

Yes, I became a real fool trying to chase joy outside of me, then!

I discovered that joy-FOOL-ness doesn’t last. It exists just to tease you – for you to want it, but not to have it! So you will become addicted to it and leave you empty, broken, hungry and thirsty for more.

As I look back, I smiled with gratitude! I will not be able to appreciate the joy-FULL-ness of what I have now without experiencing being a real fool first.

Joy-FULL-ness comes with peace.

It’s not just giddily-kind-of-joy, but it is a joy with profound contentment and satisfaction even the situation is not perfect.

A joy that gives assurance and security in every choice made.

A joy that can stand any life circumstances.

A certain joy that can give enormous strength.

A joy that will give you enough reason to love life and laugh with it.

It is a joy that is incomparable because it comes from a higher Being beyond myself or anything or anyone existed.

A joy that radiates and people around you get infected, curious and magnetized by it.

 A joy that would remind me, I was CHOSEN, LOVED, FORGIVEN, BLESSED, CHERISHED and ACCEPTED no matter what!

One unforgettable affirmation I got came from an Assumptionist Mexican Priest who told me, your name — Joy De Vera means Joy of Truth! “Vera” is from the word “Veritas” which means “Truth”.

Live by your name!” he exclaimed. I was astounded upon hearing that.

In my current situation as a consecrated religious sister, I base my joy with the “true joy” that come only from Jesus — My Easter Joy. That’s why I was fascinated upon hearing the words of Pope Francis when he said, “where there are religious, there is joy!” It’s one of my favorite line that I love to use whenever I introduce myself.

I thank God for giving us “joy” through the gift of “Jesus”.

My personal definition of JOY is Jesus is One with You!

How can I be sad if I have that truth?

He cannot be found anywhere else because precisely He is just there…seated…patiently waiting…dwelling in the depths of my Heart!

“Joy is the flag of the Holy Spirit” like what my elderly sister in the community would always sing. She’s been a faithful religious for 50 years! Despite struggles, she continually shares her joy of living out her vows. What an inspiring sister for me to look up to. Truly, “joy is the net of love that catches the soul!” as Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say.

How about you?

What is the state of your joy?

Is it the joy that lead you to fullness or foolishness?

I pray that we may have the grace of true Joy — to relish, express and share with others —that will lead all us to holiness and truth.

May our good Lord continually light our path to joy-FULL-ness of life!

“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

John 15:11

photo credit from Kollega

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