Pearl 34: “joys and delights that end are neither joys nor delights.”

p31 

Alegrias y delicias que se acaban no son ni alegrías ni delicias.”

Letter 36, where this phrase is contained, is also written to the four sisters of the small community of Arevalo. And in it, she referred to the delusion of transient joys and delights. She first quoted something from her favorite saint, St. Teresa of Avila, and then added this phrase of her own, “joys and delights that end are neither joys nor delights. Therefore, let us seek the Kingdom of Heaven...” 

           In his reflections, Antonio Grau first poses these questions: “What are the joys and delights that end? Where do we find joys and delights that do not end? What are my joys and delights? Are they the ones that end or the ones that do not end?”

He goes on to say: “Living the joy that does not end is simply seeking the Kingdom of God ...but when I try to translate it to my life, daily or not, that's when I see that it makes more sense. “ He continues: to live the joy that does not end is:

... to live united with the Monday prayer group, in the light of the Gospel, with the cold, with fatigue, with the little desire to do so sometimes, with the rain, with everything that tells me, "Stay on the couch [and rest]..." But that's when we get encouraged and meet one more Monday, and that's when gathered together drinking coffee, we talk, share and pray. And it is there where joy overtakes the feelings of discouragement, of fatigue. And this is a joy that does not end. And it's free.

...to share with my children their dreams and their sadness, their studies, work, love, friends ... it is also to share the distances and of course even the silences, those that do us so much damage and that you don't know, sometimes, how to break them. And it is then when God appears, with strange and surprising forms, and it is when we experience joy and gratitude.

... to enjoy my work, it is to feel useful and to help all those who approach me and to approach those who do not come near to me. And it is when you feel that you do what you do not want and yet you get involved, that you discover that what is important is to do everything from the heart with the right intention, taking into account the personal circumstances of others and how you are living that moment. And that's when you discover that many times it is just about being there and being who you are. (Paraphrased by me for better clarity, for purposes of this reflection).

Reflection:

·       Antonio Grau has offered us a glimpse of how to look for the joys and delights that never ends. He actually ends his reflection by asking us to complete this phrase ourselves, which is  “to live the joy that never ends is.....”

I invite you to do the same.