06 June 2012

Choosing joy

One of the joys of renting is that major interruptions to your daily life can sneak up on you without warning.  We learned from our landlord late yesterday evening that the roofers were coming bright and early this morning; apparently the roof needs to be re-shingled.  He just wanted to make sure our car would be out of the way...  I spent this morning listening to a cacophony worse than a herd of little boys with Nerf guns thundering around overhead, watching as the stray shingle plummeted past our living room window and praying that none of them would hit my potted herbs on our front step.

I would hope that, on an ordinary day, I would be happy to have the roofers here as an unusual and interesting event in what would otherwise have been a boring day.  Today, though, finds me exhausted after being kept up all night by a bad cold and longing for quiet in order to attempt a nap.

You ask me whether I am in good spirits.  How could I not be so?  As long as Faith gives me strength I will always be joyful.  Sadness ought to be banished from Catholic souls... the purpose for which we have been created shows us the path; even if strewn with many thorns, it is not a sad path.  It is joyful even in the face of sorrow.
- Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

How often the saints remind us not to complain!  It is easy to confuse happiness with joyfulness, and to mistake a lack of the first for an incapacity for the second.  In college, I had a poster on my wall where I could see it every morning; it read, "Today I choose joy."  Happiness is an emotional response to a stimulus, but joy is an act of the will.  As Bl. Pier Giorgio reminds us, we are called to be joyful in following the path God has for us.  Today, my path includes a sinus headache and noisy roofers, but that does not prevent me from accepting God's will and choosing joy.

What can I choose to be joyful about today?  So many things.  My throat does not hurt quite as badly as it did yesterday.  No fever accompanies this bug, so it's almost certainly just a cold and will be over soon.  I am able to stay home today and rest between the bouts of frenetic hammering on the roof.  Alternating treatments of ice water and vegetable oil finally succeeded in coaxing the rings off of my swollen fingers.  I am so incredibly grateful that they are having the roof re-shingled now rather than in July; at least I'm the only one unable to take a good nap today!

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