Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Invitation to Joy

Our journey into joy continued this afternoon through contemplative exercises.  Contemplative exercises after lunch when you’re not fasting or sitting in an ice cold room is a bit of a challenge even if you’re a keener.  The warm, bright sunlight was streaming into our room as we gathered to listen together for what God was saying.

I find these sessions very rewarding and I'm taking that as a huge sign of growth in my life.

I'm an ‘information junky’ and time at school that’s not spent ‘learning’ seems to me to be time wasted.  But there we sit in our circle in silence.  Wasting our afternoon on God.

Today it felt like God was giving us a gentle invitation to go deeper into joy.  It’s felt like Lorna introduced us to joy yesterday as you might introduce a friend who others have heard of or heard about but haven’t been close to.  This afternoon it was like a chance for us to hang out with joy on our own, trade stories, get more familiar with each other, go below the surface.

One of my fellow modulites, Shawn, after some reflection shared this quote by Henri Nouwen, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

The last two days have led me to re-orient myself on joy.

Here are the questions I'm contemplating this weekend as a part of our spiritual formation.  I invite you to join me and contemplate along with me and record and consider your own answers.

1) When in your life have you been filled with great joy?  How have these experiences shaped you?

2) Who has been the patron saint of joy in your life?  Who/what has stifled or spoiled your joy?

3) How do joy and ministry intersect in your life?

4) What practices might nurture a greater atmosphere of joy in your home and community?

5) What will be your legacy of joy to the next generations?


“We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

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