Joy is an enduring reality at the heart of life.

Paul speaks in II Corinthians of an “abundant joy” that “during a severe ordeal of affliction,” and in the midst of “extreme poverty,” is able to overflow “in a wealth of generosity.” (II Corintians 8:2)

This joy is not dependent upon circumstance or material well-being. This joy is “abundant;” it does not run out when life is a struggle. This joy is deeply rooted in grace which is the unstinting givingness at the heart of the universe.

The unborn infant floating in amniotic fluid does not fret and worry that her source of sustenance may be exhausted. Joy knows that by grace we are carried in a sea of love that “never fails”. (I Corinthians 13:8)

The joy Paul describes here is connected to the steady strong faithful abiding stream of life that carries on no matter what may be happening. This joy is rooted in the faith that, despite the worst thing that can happen, life goes on; there is a power of love and light that does not die.

This is the joy of resurrection that the women felt when they “left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28:8) It can coexist with fear, uncertainty, and doubt because it draws from a source that runs deeper than these fleeting feelings.

What practices help me open to the depths of my being where joy dwells?