joy 2

What is joy?
A sunbeam between two clouds.

Madame Deluzy


To pursue joy is to lose it.  The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely, unsought.

Alexander Maclaren


There is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw


The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy.  Be deliberate, but once you've made up your mind--jump in.

Charles R. Swindoll


Find joy in simplicity, self-respect, and indifference to what lies between virtue and vice.  Love the human race.  Follow the divine.

Marcus Aurelius

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of people, but from doing something worthwhile.

Wilfred T. Grenfell


We have no right to ask when a sorrow comes,
"Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask
the same question for every joy that comes our way.

Philip F. Bernstein


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I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering;
surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy.

Louise Bogan


Join the great company of those who make the barren places
of life fruitful with kindness.  Carry a vision of heaven in your
hearts, and you shall make your name, your college, the world,
correspond to that vision.  Your success and happiness lie
within you.  External conditions are the accidents of life, its
outer wrappings.  The great, enduring realities are love and
service.  Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and
our intelligence aglow.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy
and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.

Helen Keller


When we experience moments of ecstasy—in play, in art, in sex—they
come not as an exception, an accident, but as a taste of what life is
meant to be. . . Ecstasy is an idea, a goal, but it can be the expectation
of every day.  Those times when we’re grounded in our body, pure in
our heart, clear in our mind, rooted in our soul, and suffused with the
energy, the spirit of life, are our birthright.  It’s really not that hard to stop
and luxuriate in the joy and wonder of being.  Children do it all the time.
It’s a natural human gift that should be at the heart of our lives.

Gabrielle Roth


Happiness birthed by joy is an inside decision. You must fight against
the human tendency to be hurt by someone else's failure to see your needs.
You must become an incurable optimist, not an optimist that wears rose-colored glasses
and does not see the reality of life; rather, an optimist that says,
"Thanks to God I am filled with joy, a joy that transcends all of life."

Elizabeth B. Brown


Speak not, move not, but listen, the sky is full of gold.
No ripple on the river, no stir in field or fold,
All gleams but naught doth glisten, but the far-off unseen sea.

Forget days past, heart broken, put all memory by!
No grief on the green hillside, no pity in the sky,
Joy that may not be spoken fills mead and flower and tree.

William Morris


We have within ourselves
Enough to fill the present day with joy,
And overspread the future years with hope.

William Wordsworth

joy 2

A new day rose upon me. It was as if another sun had risen into the sky;
the heavens were indescribably brighter, and the earth fairer; and that
day has gone on brightening to the present hour. I have known the other
joys of life, I suppose, as much as most men; I have known art and beauty,
music and gladness; I have known friendship and love and family ties; but
it is certain that till we see God in the world--God in the bright and boundless
universe--we never know the highest joy.  It is far more than if one were
translated to a world a thousand times fairer than this; for that supreme
and central Light of Infinite Love and Wisdom, shining over this world
and all worlds, alone can show us how noble and beautiful,
how fair and glorious they are.

Orville Dewey


Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young.  A good laugh makes us
better friends with ourselves and everybody around us.

Orison Swett Marden


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Joy is what we are, not what we must get.
Joy is the realization that all we want or need in life
has been etched into our souls.
Joy helps us see not what we are "going through,"
but what we are "growing to"--a greater sense of
understanding, accomplishment, and enlightenment.
Joy reveals to us the calm at the end of the storm,
the peace that surpasses the momentary happiness of pleasure.
If we keep our minds centered on joy, joy becomes a state of mind.

Iyanla Vanzant


Not by appointment do we meet delight
Or joy; they heed not our expectancy;
But round some corner of the streets of life
They of a sudden greet us with a smile.

Gerald Massey


The affirmation of one's essential being
in spite of desires and anxieties creates joy.

Paul Tillich


The art of joy is having a love affair with life.  It is embracing life, drawing close to you all the beauty and wonder and goodness of the universe.  It is having a heart aglow with warmth for all your companions on the journey of life.  It is an expression of inner music.  It is radiating joy as does a band of musicians marching down the street.  It is a blend of laughter and tears.  Often it is the deep joy that comes to you through the mist of years as you recall tender memories of joyous days gone by.

It is sharing your joy.  "Some people," wrote the poet Walt Whitman, "are so much sunshine to the square inch."  The joyous person seems to be plugged in to the sun itself.

It is celebrating life.  The Master turned water into wine that the joyous wedding feast might continue.  "Be of good cheer," he said.  He proclaimed the purpose of his message to men in these words: "That my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full."

It is the putting forth of all your powers.  It is the flood-tide of inspiration, the glory of creation.  As you work with joy you find joy in your work.

It is looking for the joys that come in small, precious packages and making the most of them, knowing that big packages of joy are few and far between.  It is making the most of now, enjoying what is at hand.  It is taking time to enjoy life as you go along.

It is an awareness of the heaven that exists all about you.  As Solomon said:  "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed."  It is making each day your most wonderful day.

Joy is love bubbling forth into life.

Wilferd A. Peterson




Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness.
Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.

Andre Gide


Joy descends gently upon us like the evening dew,
and does not patter down like a hailstorm.

Jean Paul Richter


How necessary it is to cultivate a spirit of joy.  It is a psychological truth
that the physical acts of reverence and devotion make one feel devout. 
The courteous gesture increases one’s respect for others.  To act lovingly
is to begin to feel loving, and certainly to act joyfully brings joy to others
which in turn makes one feel joyful.  I believe we are called to the duty of delight.

Dorothy Day


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From such people I have learned a new definition of the word "joy."
I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it
seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness.  Joy seems to be part
of an unconditional wish to live, not holding back because life may not
meet our preferences and expectations.  Joy seems to be a function of
the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever
is there.  It has a kind of invincibility that attachment to any particular
outcome would deny us.  Rather than the warrior who fights towards
a specific outcome and therefore is haunted by the specter of failure
and disappointment, it is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love
despite the possibility of loss, the player for whom the playing has
become more important than winning or losing.

The willingness to win or lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship
to life and into a powerful kind of openness.  From such a position,
we can make a greater commitment to life.  Not only pleasant life, or
comfortable life, or our idea of life, but all life.  Joy seems more
closely related to aliveness than to happiness.

Rachel Naomi Remen

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

Joseph Campbell

Ironically, often the thing that keeps me from experiencing joy is my
preoccupation with self.  The very selfishness that keeps me from pouring
myself out for the joy of others also keeps me from noticing and delighting
in the myriad small gifts God offers each day.  This is why Walker Percy
describes boredom as "the self stuffed with the self."

John Ortberg

We are all capable of living lives characterized by great joy.  Within each of us
is an amazing human spirit that is strong enough to overcome pain and disappointment.
And no matter what our current situation happens to be, or what beliefs we may
currently harbor about ourselves, we can tap into that inner strength and wisdom
and move forward to create more joy.

Salle Merrill Redfield
Creating a Life of Joy

Joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass:  in the blue
serenity of the sky:  in the reckless exuberance of spring:  in the severe
abstinence of grey winter:  in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame:
in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright:  in living, in the exercise
of all our powers:  in the acquisition of knowledge. . . Joy is there everywhere.

Rabindranath Tagore


I got sick and tired of a joyless existence, and so have thought
a lot in the past few years about how to bring more joy into my
life.  The more I think about it, the more I believe that joy and
gratitude are inseparable.  Joy is defined in the dictionary as an
"emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by
the prospect of possessing what one desires," while gratitude
is that "state of being appreciative of benefits received."  In
other words, whenever we are appreciative, we are filled with
a sense of well-being and swept up by the feeling of joy.

M.J. Ryan
Attitudes of Gratitude


  joy 2    

Eternal joy is the end of the ways of God.  The message of all religions
is that the Kingdom of God is peace and joy.  And it is the message
of Christianity.  But eternal joy is not to be reached by living on the surface.
It is rather attained by breaking through the surface, by penetrating
the deep things of ourselves, of our world, and of God.  The moment
in which we reach the last depth of our lives is the moment in which
we can experience the joy that has eternity within it, the hope
that cannot be destroyed, and the truth on which life and death are built.
For in the depth is truth; and in the depth is hope; and in the depth is joy.

Paul Tillich

Joy is a constituent of life, a necessity of life; it is an element of life's
value and life's power.  As every person has need of joy, so too, every
person has a right to joy . . . It is a condition of religious living.

Paul Wilhelm von Keppler


Religion without joy--it is no religion.

Theodore Parker