Reflections by Jerry Webber

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Richard Rohr on Joy and Sadness

This is Richard Rohr's (Center for Action and Contemplation) short meditation today on how joy and sadness are mingled together, often found in the same circumstance or life. I find myself this morning saying, "YES!!" to his words.

Zephaniah, addressing a slum of Northern Kingdom refugees in Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:14-18), and Paul, writing to the Philippians from his chains (Philippians 4:4-7), both counsel an unprecedented and unwarranted joy to their listeners. Were they na├»ve or pie in the sky believers? Probably not, because the whole of anything always contains parts and reasons for joy and contentment. To accept and live in the whole of things is to be “holy.” The unified field of God does not blot out all sadness and tragedy entirely, but it somehow and surely co-exists with it. Joy and sadness can live together within us at the same time, and afterwards we learn to never despair because of the dark sides of things. The dark side is never the whole, although in the short term it often appears to be.

(Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 9)

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1 comment:

Kathy Kelley said...

Yup. I thought the same thing when I read it this morning. Yes the comingling, coexistence, of the two is real and important but I was also thinking about how I need to allow myself to feel my sadness and joy in terms of giving myself permission. Often with both these experiences I don't trust them or historically have had guilt or shame about having either. So for me I must consciously allow my sadness or grief to pass through me, not assuming their presence means I am some how bad or defective. It is important for me to not bind them up in judgement. Unfortunately I have to do the same with joy. I have to allow i when comes and make room for it so when it does come I am ready to receive it. t. I have to tell myself joy doesn't make me a hedonist, and that it doesn't have to be earned or discarded because I haven't been good enough. And allowing both into my life, opening myself to a fuller spectrum of feelings helps me live more fully in the depth of the present, gives mecsome relief from my past and hope for the future.