The entry in Small Steps for January 13 asked me to make a list of the things that bring me joy. For whatever reason, my mind went completely blank. I was stumped. I was alarmed. There must be something! I read over Danielle Bean's essay in the Companion Journal. Yes, I was quite sure that I that I knew the experience of Joy. But nothing came to mind. Needless to say I wasn't going to be able to make the list that day - instead I set out to watch for those moments of Joy.
At some point during the day I glanced out the window and saw a bird alight on the tree - an immediate lightness and delight filled me. Yes - this was a moment of joy! I began to think what a salve God's creation is to my soul - from the vastness of the ocean or the view from a mountain top to all the little love notes He leaves me to find in the most surprising places.
I remembered how loved I felt when I realized that in every walnut you can find a love note fashioned by the Creator!
Then I remembered the giggles that escaped from me as I finished each little mouse for a friend during Advent. All it took was a walnut shell, a bit of wool, some soap and water, a few beads, needle and thread. With these small things and the work of my hands I crafted a little token that would be a gift to a child. The work of my hands, the giving...Joy.
How our Lord must have delighted in His creation! How he must delight in each one of us.
I remembered the simple smile of a child brings Joy. Their sweet mischievousness. A chess game won. A new tune on the Bagpipe mastered. The sound of young womens' voices in song.
So much Joy. I only had to stop, look, and listen. And give thanks. I think I will never struggle again to recognize the Joy in my life. At least I hope not. Lord, forgive me if I do. My work now is to take those moments and stretch them out until they meet one another, until our days are covered by Joy. What a happy vocation.
--acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.