JOY.  Everyone wants it.  Many reject it because we have married ourselves to our own cynicism and insecurities.  But we cannot fully quench our craving for it.  We cannot escape, or completely sever, the hardwired desire for joy because the very root system of our cynicism feeds off of our fundamental longing for joy – this is what gives rise to cynical psyche …the desperate desire for joy which our Creator designed to dwell in us, which – having been tainted and twisted by our defiance and depravity – has produced in us a disbelief in the ultimate reality and/or availability of such a sublime gift.  In other words, we would not be pessimistic and negative if we did not – on some intrinsic level – believe in the reality of, and harbor a desperate desire for, JOY (e.g. beasts having no craving for joy …rudimentary comforts and instinctive advantages yes, but joy is not integral to their being).  Moreover, in our arrogance we convince ourselves that God must “be like us” and therefore we cannot take Him at His Word, we cannot believe in the triumph of Good over evil, or honesty over hiding, or joy over misery; if we see ourselves as the starting point and ultimate authority, all hope is lost and disenchantment reigns.

A classic ” ” from Clive – – – > “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at sea.  We are far too easily pleased.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. [Romans 15:13]