Joy, Happiness or Peace in Serving
The fruit of service is joy or happiness or peace. Thus, when we do good deeds, it is only natural to want to see the result of our service. But for Christians, Mother Teresa said, we will not be disappointed if the result is left to Jesus, “Don’t give in to discouragement. No more must you do so when you try to settle a marriage crisis or convert a sinner and don’t succeed. If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people’s opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to Jesus.” (Contemplative at the Heart of the World, 107)
Pope Francis on “Being Happy”:
You may have defects, be anxious and sometimes live irritated, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can prevent it from going into decadence. There are many that need you, admire you and love you.
I would like to remind you that being happy is not having a sky without storms, or roads without accidents, or work without fatigue, or relationships without disappointments.
Being happy is finding strength in forgiveness, hope in one’s battles, security at the stage of fear, love in disagreements.
Being happy is not only to treasure the smile, but that you also reflect on the sadness.
It is not just commemorating the event, but also learning lessons in failures.
It is not just having joy with the applause, but also having joy in anonymity.
Being happy is to recognize that it is worthwhile to live, despite all the challenges, misunderstandings and times of crises.
Being happy is not inevitable fate, but a victory for those who can travel towards it with your own being.
Being happy is to stop being a victim of problems but become an actor in history itself.
It is not only to cross the deserts outside of ourselves, but still more, to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul.
It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life.
Being happy is not being afraid of one’s feelings. It is to know how to talk about ourselves. It is to bear with courage when hearing a “no”.
It is to have the security to receive criticism, even if it is unfair.
It is to kiss the children, pamper the parents, have poetic moments with friends, even if they have hurt us.
Being happy means allowing the free, happy and simple child inside each of us to live; having the maturity to say, “I was wrong”; having the audacity to say, “forgive me”.
It is to have sensitivity in expressing, “I need you”; to have the ability of saying, “I love you.”
So that your life becomes a garden full of opportunities for being happy…
In your spring-time, may you become a lover of joy. In your winter, may you become a friend of wisdom.
And when you go wrong along the way, you start all over again. Thus you will be more passionate about life.
And you will find that happiness is not about having a perfect life but about using tears to water tolerance, losses to refine patience, failures to carve serenity, pain to lapidate pleasure, obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.
Never give up …. Never give up on the people you love. Never give up from being happy because life is an incredible show.
And you are a special human being!
One of the secret of joy is work, provided it is work with an element of serving--- with kindness, care and thought for fellow-men. In The Joy of Service by J R Miller, it stated:
“Work is a condition of joy.
It is a blessing that most people, when sorrow comes, dare not pause to indulge their grief. Their duties are waiting for them, waiting so clamorously, that they cannot linger even for the tender sentiment of sorrow. There is scarcely time to wait for the funeral to be over, after a bereavement, before imperative tasks must receive attention. It is well that it is so. The necessary activity keeps the heart from breaking, and preserves the life from the morbidity which so often sorrow produces when the hands lie folded.
Work is therefore a secret of happiness. It saves the heart from being overcharged. The emotions which otherwise would lie pent up, to the hurt of the life, find vent and are wrought out in activities which bless others, while they produce health and wholesomeness in him who performs them. No worse mistake can be made by one in grief—than to drop life's duties and tasks out of the hands, and cut one's self off from the common duties and ministries of life. God's comfort is not found in this way. Joy does not come to the one who nourishes his sorrow in idle brooding; it is found only in the earnest and faithful doing of every duty. Work has saved many a life from despair in time of great grief.
But there is something higher and diviner yet, than even work alone. Work may be selfish. It may be solely for the advancement of one's own interest, without any thought of another's benefit or comfort. Even then there is blessing in it; for it fills the hands and occupies the thoughts—there is good in occupation itself. But if we add to work—the element of serving, with love and thought of others—we have one of the noblest of all the secrets of joy!
Serving comes from loving; it is love's expression. Serving that is not inspired by love—yields no joy. Love that does not serve—is not love at all. The measure of self-denial that one is ready to suffer—is the measure of the love that is in one's heart. Love that will not sacrifice is only a sentiment, a fair blossom from which no fruit comes. Love is ready always for serving.”
Other than work, are there other activities that give us joy? For some, it is physical activities such as jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments. For others, it can be playing with babies or young children, visiting and interacting with family or friends. While others, like to read religious books, biographies, memoirs, mystery novels, classics, comic strips. And others enjoy art, music, old movies, comedy movies, drawings, plays, ballet, etc.
A sure way to bring joy into our lives is to thank the Lord with a grateful heart. A heart that is full of gratitude cannot be depressed. It will be great, for our own well-being, if we can give ourselves regular daily doses of this essential “vitamin J.”
I find the following useful: An Invitation to Joy by Henri J M Nowen, TED Talks about Happiness, Talks on Happiness from YouTube, Work like a horse or work like a steward18 and Constantly Pray Over the Work
Written on 11 December 2017