Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We Were made for Joy

We were made for joy.

for laughter
for songs
for dancing in the rippling streams
for gazing into the wondrous glory of sun-crowned mountains
for hearing earth’s perpetual plainchant, steadily drumming, “Holy, Holy, Holy”
for witnessing the wonder of rushing rivers crashing across ancients stones
for walking through tender spring grass glistening with morning dew
for harmony
for hilarity

We were made for light.

Sung into being by the breath of the Holy Lover, we awakened in an Eden of delightful bliss.

And yet the joystreams of our earthly journey evaporated in the desert’s soul-boring sun.

We still stumble across a wasteland of regrets and unfulfilled expectations looking for something that might give us even a glimpse of goodness and glory.

Desire drives us forward, as we seek to possess that joy, that unfailing happiness, that elusive longing that plagues our heart. We feed the yearning with movies and food and fun and cars and jewelry and sex and anything that can yield but a moment’s flash of possible delight.

Like Adam and Eve grasping for a fruit that was not a gift, our desire will possess anything and everything—including God. If we could actually possess God, we would devour him. Or possibly cage Him and make Him come out and satisfy our cravings. Plato thought we might even kill him. St. Stephen said we did.

There is a love greater than desire. There is a love that conquers desires. There is a love that cannot be possessed and yet cannot be resisted. There is a love that dwells in unapproachable light.

This supreme love, this supreme good is beyond all earthly good. It cannot be moved, drained, controlled or corrupted by human desire. This love entered human history in Jesus. Jesus’ love conquered human desire by yielding to it. He allowed the dark desires of humanity to kill him. But even in dying His love refused to let go.

And thus, we follow Him into death. Our desire, our Eros, our compulsion is crucified. Love wraps around the human heart and draws it to death. And in dying we live, and love. Love breathes freshly into the newborn soul, and we learn to dance again, to sing again, to play again. We grow back to innocence and wonder and, joy. Joy. Joy. Joy unspeakable.

We were made for joy.

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