Advent – Voice of Joy

Written by Katherine Rouse

Advent Banner - Joy“Don’t postpone joy” became my mantra at an early age without even knowing it.  And then I became an Asheville resident and as soon as I saw that bumper sticker at Laurey’s on Biltmore Avenue I knew I was in the right place.  Then I found this wonderful piece of art at the Screen Door and hung it immediately in a prominent place in my new house. (CHOOSE JOY) 

Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama remind us in the Book of Joy that “joy is in fact our birthright and even more fundamental than happiness.  Happiness is often dependent on external circumstances, joy is not.  Joy subsumes happiness.  Joy is the far greater thing.  Lasting joy, as a way of being is born from deep well-being and benevolence,” and paradoxically from your sorrow.  As Kahlil Gibran tells us, “your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was often times filled with your tears. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. 

In 1513, Fra Giovanni wrote: “The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it, yet within reach is joy.  There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see.  And to see we have only to look.  I beseech you to look. 

“Joy is not something to learn, it is something to live.  And your greatest joy (and sometimes your deepest sorrow) is lived in deep, loving, and generous relationships with others.”  Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.