Perfect Joy

FrancisSt. Francis of Asisi described to his friend Leo what perfect joy looked like…

“If when we come to our quarters – dirty, wet, exhausted, and hungry – (after) we have been rejected, repeatedly rebuffed, and finally driven away by force… then if we accept such injustice, cruelity, and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring – and we if we bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking of the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out of our love for Him… O Brother Leo, THAT is perfect joy!”

Joy boils down to a matter of the heart… what the deepest desires are within us… what we think about when we have nothing to think about. Perfect joy abides when the deepest desire of our heart is to glorify God and submit to his perfect will. The condition of our heart will determine if we meet every event of life with God honoring joy or not. This is the reason Jesus said in Matt 11:28-30…

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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