“Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls.”
-Blessed Teresa of CalcuttaLife surely has the ability to suck the joy right out of us sometimes – when you have to fight over the phone with the insurance company; when you take the time to prepare a delicious, healthy meal and your child won’t even try it; when your thirteen year old daughter wants to dress like an eighteen year old and doesn’t see your wisdom in not allowing her to do so; when the liner in your automobile begins to fall on your head; when your weekend calendar gets unavoidably loaded with obligations and events… You get the idea!
Joy is such a beautiful thing! It puts the smile on our faces! It gives us energy and enthusiasm for life. It provides the bounce in our step and an awesome sense of optimism. Our joy even has the ability to bring God’s love to an aching world. “Joy is (indeed) a net of love by which we catch souls (for Christ).” It is an invaluable quality, and yet it can slip right through our hands like a stick of butter if we’re not careful!
I find it ironic that Mother Theresa made this profound statement that I’ve quoted here, because I’ve read that she experienced long periods of spiritual dryness – times where she felt little or no joy. This gives me hope as a person who has often struggled with depression. How did Mother Theresa continue to smile through the pain – through the utter destitution she witnessed each day? Despite the fact that she didn’t always feel joyful, she continued smiling at the poor and dying, casting her net and ministering to souls for God. As Christians, we want to do the same. Others will want what we have only if we allow joy to show through in our smiles, in our kind words and deeds.
When we feel depleted, it is essential that we go to a place where we can be filled by God and regain a sense of joy. For me, that place is my garden or the adoration chapel. I can be in a totally rotten mood. If I go “hang out” with God in the garden or chapel for thirty minutes or so, life seems so much better. Hope is restored. Joy begins to wriggle it’s way back into my heart! Then, I’m able to greet others with a smile once again, and (hopefully) cast my net of love in a humble attempt to catch souls for Christ! Let’s go fishing with joy today!