June 23

Reflection

Recreation is the act of stretching the soul. When we stop the race to nowhere, when we get off the carousel of productivity long enough to finally recognize that it is going in a circle, we reclaim a piece of our own humanity. We must ask ourselves whether what we are doing with our lives and the way we are doing it is really worth the expenditure of a life, either our own or the lives of those with whom we come in contact. Life is not meant to be dismal. Life is not an endurance test. Life is life, if we make it that. How do we know for sure that life is meant to be an excursion into joy? Because there is simply too much to enjoy. Religious traditions that refuse to enjoy life, reject life. But religion that rejects life is no religion at all. It fails to connect the sacred now with the sacred beyond. To be a contemplative we must bring ourselves to life so that all of life can mediate God to us.
Joan Chittister

Prayer

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.
Psalm 16:11

Action

Take time to enjoy some of the joyful things in life-the loveliness of a summer day, the beauty of flowers, a good meal, the laughter of children, the presence of those you love and so many other things. Balance your life with happy things as well as tasks.

Suggested Readings

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:11

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 Psalm 118:2

The Saints were not superhuman. They were people who loved God in their hearts, and who shared this joy with others.
Pope Francis

Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
Joseph Campbell


Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.
Helen Keller

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
Karl Barth

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Marianne Williamson

 The simple presence of a pet can offer a lightness and a joy, a sense of connection, and an invitation to be uninhibitedly ourselves in a way that is both unique and priceless.
 David Miche

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