A PAGE OF JOY

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     The final short section of Rowan Williams book “Being Disciples” (I was talking about it in last months magazine) was headed “Joy”, and Bishop Rowan made the distinction between joy and happiness.
He suggested that joy is inside us – something overflowing, pushing outwards, uncontainable, regardless of outside influences. 
     I would go so far as to say that it is the knowledge that we are loved, loved by God no matter what, having nothing to do with our worthiness or our situation or our own feelings of happiness or sadness – unconditionally LOVED.
     Perhaps children can express pure joy more easily than we can as adults, we are so hampered by convention, “stiff upper lip”, self-awareness, self-consciousness – you name it - our emotions have been trained to be contained. 
Not so children.
     I remember being told of a person visiting a church whilst on holiday, there were a couple of ladies tidying up the flowers and having a bit of a dust round.
     At the East end of the church was a small chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved, from which came a noise.
On walking up the aisle to see what was causing the noise, the visitor found a little girl, dancing and prancing, twisting and turning, pausing only to kiss her hand and, laughing, blow kisses towards the tabernacle.
She was totally absorbed.
The visitor watched her for a while, until the child realized she was being observed - -and stopped.
As she passed by, back to her mother’s side, the visitor asked her to whom was she blowing kisses.
“JESUS!” was her breathless reply.
Isn’t that wonderful? 
Pure JOY! Jesus loved her and she loved him and the joy it gave burst out of her.
     What’s all this got to do with MAY?
     May has always struck me as the most joyful of months, and not just me – Mary’s Month is the month to go a-Maying, gathering branches of May blossom – of dancing round May-poles of crowning May Queens, and this year the beautiful Feast of Corpus Christi, always the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, falls on May 31st - when we give thanks for the institution of Holy Communion at the Last Supper.
     That Jesus gave us the most precious gift of his own body and blood to both save us and to feed us is beyond any expression of eternal and unconditional love that we could ever imagine, surely the joy this should give us remains through all the “Changes and chances of this mortal life” 
   P.S.  If you happen to be in Seville, Spain, for the splendid celebrations that take place for Corpus Christi, you will see “Los Seises” - the children of Seville dancing before the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral.

     
 
  ​​Joy Yorke