[The discipline of joy] “requires choosing light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded by lies… the reward of choosing joy is joy itself… Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to fertile soil for more joy… People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness but they choose to not live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to the flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God… Every moment of each day I have the chance to choose between cynicism and joy. Jesus wants me to enjoy the same joy he enjoys:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-11).” The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen pgs. 115-118.