The Importance of Cultivating JoyWe all seek joy. Joy is a deep yearning for our soul, so we must learn to find it and cultivate it. A joyful home is an environment where virtues can thrive and bear fruit. There are different kinds of joy. Joy as a feeling appears when we achieve what we desire. However, like all feelings, it is fleeting and when it goes away, it leaves a certain nostalgia in the soul. We need to be careful with this kind of joy so it does not become an addiction, where we seek the feeling at any cost, otherwise it will be a source of bitterness and disappointment. Joy as a feeling when we possess a good can be more noble and lasting, depending on the kind of good we crave. The greatest good we can desire is to be loved and cared, so the greatest joy is knowing that one is loved and cared. Another type of joy is the feeling we get from the conviction that we have done our duty well. When we strive to do our duty well, we have a more stable joy, which does not go away so easily. Even if we are exhausted, or if we are suffering, but fulfilling our duty, we have in our soul this joy, this sense that all effort is worth it. Joy is still an attitude. We can choose to have a cheerful attitude regardless of what is happening in our life. We can give this joy to those we love, even if we are not feeling well. This attitude of joy is a demonstration of self-control. And there is no greater joy we can experience than that of self-mastery, of knowing that we are not a slave to our passions, our feelings, our will, our mood. We must strive hard to be able to have that kind of joy, to be able to give a smile to all who are with us, regardless of how we feel. This is a great test of love for others, for to be guided by feeling, by mood, is a tremendous selfishness. Every day we can try to do something that brings joy to those who live with us. One day, prepare a dish that your husband likes; another day, leave a note in your child's agenda; another day bring a flower to your wife even if it's not a special date; make the bed without your mother having to ask. Ultimately there are several small gestures that we all can do to make our home environment lighter and more cheerful. Finally, there is supernatural joy, one that no one can take away from us. This joy, the true joy, springs from union with God, from the "possession" of God, to know that God dwells in our soul, that loves us infinitely and that transforms us. Thus, to have joy in its fullness, we must persevere in the love of God, through prayer and attendance to the sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist. Through the communion of the body and blood of Christ, he really is in us, there being no more perfect union between God and the human being in this world.
Copyright 2019 Flávia Ghelardi
About the Author
Flávia Ghelardi is the mom of four, a former lawyer already "promoted" to full time mom. Flávia published her first book FORTALECENDO SUA FAMÍLIA and is a member of Schoenstatt´s Apostolic Movement. Flávia loves to speak about motherhood and the important role of women, as desired by God, for our society. She blogs at www.fortalecendosuafamilia.blogspot.com.