I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone: the Lord is very near.

There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus. 

– Philippians 4:4-7

I had been discussing joy/happiness with my friend today, trying to explain to her the difference between joy and deep joy. I didn’t really know how to explain to it her because I didn’t really understand the difference myself.

Today, during Mass, my Lord Jesus helped me understand a little of the difference between joy and deep joy. The second reading was from Philippians 4:4-7 and set the scene in my mind for the priest’s homily.

The priest shared with us how a late Capuchin friar explained the difference between joy and deep joy. Joy was akin to a shallow creek and deep joy like a deep river. The creek shallow and thereby rushes by and makes lots of noise because it keeps smashing against the rocks. The river is deep and therefore still and quiet. Because the creek is shallow, it is easily disrupted or cut off by things falling in its way. On the other hand, the deep river’s stillness and peace is not much disturbed by objects falling into it.

This explanation reminded me a lot of a quote by Mother Theresa.

In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

– Mother Teresa