top of page

Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Joy and Sorrow/Joy and Sadness

“There is a difference between happiness and joy. “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven,” says Jesus in Matthew 5:12. Material things may be desirable, even honorable, but they cannot replace the joy of the Spirit of God dwelling in my heart. Things that make me happy will fade away, but joy in my heart is irreplaceable—and eternal. Let me seek joy…I came to see that the good life is about finding a type of joy that comes only when we give up the pursuit of happiness and pursue meaning instead.” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick, Robin Phillips)

“There are some very dire circumstances where it may seem impossible to find joy. And unlike love, which we are called to demonstrate at all times, we are not expected to be joyful at all times. Even Christ wasn’t joyful all the time. When His friend Lazarus died, He cried. He got angry. He got tired. However, like love, joy is a choice. We can choose how long we feel down when we are sad and how resiliently we bounce back. We can choose how long we will feel angry before we calm down. And we can choose to find joy even in sometimes difficult circumstances…Joy and sadness are opposites. However, you can’t have one without the other. We know what joy feels like because we know what sadness feels like. If you never feel sadness, you can never feel joy. Because joy all the time wouldn’t be joy. We only understand real joy because we have experienced the absence of joy, or sadness. We need the juxtaposition of joy and sadness in order to have a complete life experience.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“… joy inevitably retains an element of sadness. In this life, holy erôs is never pure desire. It is always tempered by the realization that the object of our deepest longing remains beyond our grasp. And for this, curiously but emphatically, we give thanks. For it is precisely the inaccessibility of what we long for that makes the longing so intense, the experience of grief so poignant, and the desire for repentance—for a thoroughgoing return—so genuine. This is what produces the paradoxical mingling of sadness and joy, compunction and ecstasy. The two must be held together and experienced as a single motivating impulse that takes us beyond ourselves, our self-centered values and priorities, and directs our mind and heart toward the Other, whose love we long to know beyond all else.” (Fr. John Breck)

“Only when we accept that life is difficult, only when we come to terms with the fact that we have no right to be comfortable, happy, or prosperous, can we truly be grateful. By accepting that life is difficult and suffering is normal, we can begin to perceive any small amount of joy or comfort as pure gift. This suggests not simply that gratitude and suffering can coexist, but that without suffering it is hard to develop a true disposition of gratitude.” (Robin Phillips)

“I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Reality sucks.” I was rather perplexed by the claim. At that moment I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, “Whatever.” But I have been thinking about that bumper sticker. Now, weeks later, I would use their language to conclude, “Unreality sucks.” Please excuse the crass language, but I know you understand. Reality, real reality, is the only place where God is, the only place where life occurs. And yes, reality is absurd and harsh, joyful and precious. We Christians understand reality as the cross, and beyond the cross is light, joy, and resurrection.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“Sorrow is one of the things that are lent, not given. A thing that is lent may be taken away; a thing that is given is not taken away. Joy is given; sorrow is lent; … then it will be taken away and everlasting joy will be our Father’s gift to us, and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from off all faces.” (Amy Carmichael)

"It is important for us to talk and to share with one another our thoughts, sorrows, joys, and so on. No doubt about it. In fact I think we don’t do enough of that today, when we are so often “alone together” even as a family, with each member staring into his or her computer/ phone while sitting at the same table." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“If we are tempted to base our hope on the goods of this temporal life, then we ought to heed Solomon’s warning: “Sorrow does not mingle with gladness, but in the end, this joy turns to sorrow” (Prv 14:13). Given God’s enduring gifts to us – the Cross and the Resurrection, which provide a true foundation for joy – it is sad when we depend upon fluctuating circumstances as the source our happiness. Such dependence and instability in our faith runs contrary to God’s will.” (Dynamis 10/4/2018)

“When Christ is in our heart, we are contented with everything: what has been discomfort to us becomes the greatest comfort, what was bitter to us becomes sweet, poverty becomes wealth, our hunger is satisfied, and our sorrow turns into joy!” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“As we embrace Christ as the center of our lives, the Holy Spirit as Comforter—Paraclete— guides us from darkness to light, from sorrow to joy! St. Paul inspires the Church “to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15)…[we] are encouraged to celebrate with each other through joyous occasions and comfort each other through sorrow.” (Patricia Manuse)

Quote of the Day


bottom of page