Surprised by Joy

Surprised by Joy is the title of a memoir by C. S. Lewis. His memoir tells us of his conversion to Christianity. Although he had the mind of a skeptic, Lewis, in the midst of that struggle, had his heart pierced with a unique experience that he knew as Joy. The word quite simply means a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Yet it is even more. Lewis believed that it came from God and was God. Even though he lived in the difficult time of the Great War, God had a way of touching him, surprising him with Joy. Two of my favorite saints, Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila, also lived through agues and persecutions, war, and yet God found them and gave them God’s gift, joy.

Consider Joy

No more tame

Than a lioness.
Never to be trivialized.
What is your life

Without this fierce feline
of delight? Why settle
for the well

Mannered life?
Have you lived
So long

And not had Joy
rip through
your heart?

Charles Preble, OblSB

Photo: A mix of autumn and winter at Saint Scholastica Convent