Clothed With Joy


As I read Psalm 30 tonight, I pouted.  Joy has not always come in the morning this week, but I do feel clothed in Joy. When I lit the Joy candle on Sunday, I thought I would relight it as I had previous weeks with Hope and Peace. As you can see in this photo, I have not burned it much at all. It stands tall, beckoning me to know it is still there. I look at it once in awhile and think I need to light it but then I do not.

I have been dashing out the door without doing my morning readings. I start everyday with my morning offering and prayer remembrances but the readings have been sped read at night. It has not been too calming or enlightening. I usually do the readings prayerfully in the morning and then at night return to them as I post my reflections here.  For those who follow me, you can see that too has not been successful this week.

Instead, I have been running off to the hospital or some appointment this week, distracted and often interrupted by curve balls. My kitchen dances have been short as I have multi-tasked even while I have made my breakfast. I feel slightly scrunched by Satan, who is behaving like an annoying mosquito who keeps me under the blanket instead of throwing off my covers and getting on with the day. I hardly can decide what to put on each day, and Joy has not come to mind much.

My Christmas letter is not yet written. Shopping is not going to happen beyond what I have done. Christmas cards seem like a chore instead of what I had in mind. Socializing seems like an exhausting prospect.  I need more sleep so that I can greet Joy in the morning.

My social worker and I were talking earlier this week about doing only what brings me life. The priest I saw today for reconciliation suggested that I take care of myself first. Yes, that is the goal but I keep getting broadsided. I learned last night that a friend of mine lost her brother suddenly five days ago. I was stunned. I had just seen him less than a month ago at an event that we all attend annually. I thought he had looked tired.  The family has always been gracious and welcoming to me–for three decades now.  I had a videocall with my friend to express my sympathies at the passing of her brother when I got home today.  I am saddened that he leaves behind a wife, son, and daughter, his three sisters, and many people who loved him. He was only a few years older than me. You just never know.

This is why it is important to embrace Joy each morning whenever feasibly possible…to consciously chose to put on Joy and wrap it tightly around you. You just do not know what will come in the next 24 hours.  Joy does not equal happiness.  Joy is something that is deeper, broader, and more encompassing. Happiness is fleeting. Joy survives, despite it all. You may miss its quiet call in the morning but if you listen carefully, you will catch its whisper during the day and if you are wise, you will rise to embrace Joy. Joy will not abandon you. Despite all that happens, Joy has visited this week and nudged me to notice. My heart is grateful for its persistence.



Reflection Questions

Do you put on Joy in the morning?

On the hardest of days, will you rise to embrace Joy?


Glorious One, you provide the finest clothes for us, if we allow you to rummage through our closet.  Thank you for choosing Joy to dress our souls in.  Keep lavishing us in this designer outfit so that we may shine in a world desperate for hope, peace, and love. Amen.

About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
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6 Responses to Clothed With Joy

  1. Monica says:

    Hi Suzanne. One of my first gifts to Ron almost 20 years ago was a coffee mug with the proverb “JOY comes in the morning”. I bought it for him because unlike me he is such a morning person. Although I have never been a morning person (and put off getting out of my warm bed as long as possible) I do find that the worries of the evening and night time usually seem lighter in the morning. I like your description of Joy being “deeper, broader and more encompassing” than the more fleeting feelings of happiness. Thanks for this post and have a great day and much joy in this beautiful season.

  2. Teresita says:

    What a beautiful expression of “joy” Suzanne! I’d like to add a quote from Teilhard de Chardin said, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” God’s presence is everywhere. Follow the joy. This was yesterday’s 3-minute retreat from Loyola Press.

  3. Monica says:

    Teresita what a beautiful quote. I have entered it into my prayer/spiritual journal.

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