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Joy (Finding and Maintaining)

“It is a form of an affliction where we permit ourselves to indulge in thoughts of unfairness, until we become thoroughly miserable and obsessed by it. It is a pattern that destroys the good fruit of the Spirit, especially the fruits of inner joy and peace…we all worry about ourselves too much and that only he who leaves everything to the will of God can feel truly joyous, light, and peaceful…He who lives according to God's will has no worries. When he needs something, he simply prays for it. If he does not receive that which he asked for, he is joyful as though he had received it…To the degree that we let go of our worldly cares, the Lord allows us to feel that He is with us. The Lord is peace, joy; He is father, mother, and friend to us. We have everything in Him. He is the One Who satisfies the needs of the soul.” (Frank Hammond, Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of Him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other…Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.” (St. Seraphim of Sarov)

“When you find Christ, you are satisfied, you desire nothing else, you find peace. You become a different person. You live everywhere, wherever Christ is. You live in the stars, in infinity, in heaven, with the angels, with the saints on earth, with people, with animals, with everyone and everything. When there is love for Christ, loneliness disappears. You are peaceable, joyous, full…Christ is in all your thoughts, in all your actions. You have grace, and you can endure everything for Christ.” (St. Porphyrios)

“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)

“It is important to emphasize that salvation is not a solo task we carry out before God. We are children in the family of our Father in heaven. There is a great potential for joy in being members of one another, united under one Head in the Body of Christ. Hence, the salvation of everyone is the concern of the faithful individually. Just as white corpuscles rush to a point of infection inside our bloodstream, so should the prayers of Christians hasten to the Lord on behalf of their brethren in Christ who are in need.” (OCPM 10/12/2015)


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