Sunday, 8 April 2012

Joy



We process quietly into the church, following the Pascal candle. We stand in the pew, excited and expectant, in the flickering and dancing light of our candles. Then out of the darkness, Father’s voice fills the church, breaking the silence as he sings the first words of the Exultet. A clear high voice joins in, singing the harmony. Then everyone raises their voices as one:  Rejoice! Rejoice! And joy floods my heart. Easter has arrived.

I think about joy. What is it? Where does it come from? Is it love or perhaps Love? Is it God making His presence felt in our souls?

I think about blogging and sharing my family. Does it sometimes seem like everything is perfect in our lives? Of course it is not that way at all. We struggle along like everyone else although I can't always share those difficult times as I like to respect the privacy of my family. But what I can write about is joy.

Regardless of what is going on in our lives, there are so many moments of joy. And it is these moments that make me want to open my computer and write a story and share.

I write about many things: homeschooling, writing, grief, family, faith, blogging, books... I also want to write about joy. Joy is not about me. It's all about God. 

I stand in our parish church listening to the sweet voices of my children raised in song. It is a perfect moment. And somehow the difficulties and struggles of life do not matter at all because we have love and joy.

We have God.

I'd like to wish everyone a very joyful Easter

14 comments:

  1. Best wishes for a Happy, Peaceful and Blessed Easter to you and your family.

    God bless.

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    1. Happy Easter, Victor!Don't you just love the Easter season? All those weeks of rejoicing leading up to Pentecost. Enjoy!

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  2. Hi Sue,

    There is nothing like a wonderful, inspiring liturgy to celebrate the highest point in the church's year.

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    1. Gerard,

      Happy Easter! Yes, the Easter Vigil is certainly the most beautiful Mass of the year. Now that we don't have any little ones I can really appreciate the Mass. I hope you were able to concentrate on the liturgy too.

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  3. Happy Easter, Sue.

    There is nothing like a wonderful, inspiring liturgy to celebrate the highest point of the church's year.

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    1. Happy Easter, Lisa!

      Thank you for your greetings. Every moment of the Vigil Mass is so significant and beautiful. I remember how I never used to be able to pay much attention at Mass because of the younger children. I am sure God blessed me anyway but it has been wonderful in recent years to sit still and pray and listen and sing without any distractions. I hope you had a joyful Mass too.

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  4. Thank you so much!
    I wish you a Happy Easter, too!

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    1. Miu,

      I am always so pleased to hear from you. Happy Easter! Thank you for taking the time to say hello and leave an Easter message.

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  5. Dear Sue. I am having such a hard time with this deployment. The children were awful in Mass today and I found it very difficult to be joyful. I wonder how we can be joyful when we feel very sad?

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    1. Elisa,

      You are having such a difficult time at the moment. It can't be easy when the whole world is celebrating and your husband is so far away. I have had times too when life is such a struggle it feels totally devoid of joy. Joy and God seem so far away.

      People often say there is joy in suffering, that we should offer our sorrows up joyfully. It sounds so very easy. But it's not. After Thomas died, I didn't feel any joy. All I could do was accept the pain and circumstances and keep plodding alone. Some days were so very difficult. I was close to despair but I kept saying, "You know how I feel God and if this is the way it has to be, I will accept it." But it hurt! One day a shaft of light broke into my dark world. A ray of joy lit up my life although nothing had changed. I couldn't understand it but I guess God was encouraging me to keep going. Of course, joy disappeared again and I had to face more sadness but eventually I got there.

      Elisa, feelings of joy, perfect Masses... these are all wonderful but they don't mean as much as accepting what God sends and trusting Him with our lives. There is so much more value in you offering up your struggles at Mass with your children than me enjoying my joyful Mass. I used to look at all the people praying at Mass with envy when I was struggling with a baby and toddler. I never got to stay inside the church for very long. I hardly ever prayed as I thought I should. However I really believe God blesses parents abundantly for their efforts. I have joined the ranks of those who have it easy. Now it is my turn to pray for you.

      Elisa, I keep you in my prayers each day. God will bless your suffering. I pray He will send you a joyful moment to keep you going.

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  6. A blessed Easter season to you Sue :-) On Good Friday it felt as though I'd been at Good Friday for 3.5 years - yet once again it's Easter and there is joy....

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    1. Beate,

      Yes, it was a hard struggle through Lent and Good Friday and it seemed like it would go on forever. Then all of a sudden, the mood changed and we were rejoicing! And all the sacrifices seemed so very worth it.

      I guess that's a bit like life. We can be struggling on and on and then unexpectedly God blesses us in ways we never foresee. May He bless you and your family, this Easter season, Beate. Happy Easter!

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    2. Yes, I sensed your grief in your writing the past couple of weeks - it's strange somehow when in that place it seems like it has no beginning or end. Then God reaches down, picks us up and we're off again. God's peace and joy be with you Sue!

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    3. Beate,

      I think most people that have grieved revisit their sorrows to some extent over Lent. I guess I try and share those feelings through my writing in case anyone else is going through the same experience, and needs some reassurance that they are not alone. But I did also want to share some hope and joy, as I anticipated Easter, with my grief story about being the mother of a saint.

      You said, "Then God reaches down, picks us up and we're off again." Wow! When God is in charge of our lives, doesn't life become an adventure?

      God bless you, dear Beate!

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