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Joy and Pleasure

A question on Facebook group, Live Your Truth - Love Your Life got me contemplating the significance of joy and pleasure. Joe Paprocki states in his book, "7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness" that pleasures are desires we seek to scratch our itch. An itch is something that bothers us, for example: a loss of a loved one or job, financial difficulties, a breakup in a relationship, etc. Some of these pleasures we use to scratch our itch are: shopping, eating, drinking alcohol, using drugs, gambling, smoking, exercising, making love, playing video games, blogging/tweeting/surfing the internet, watching television, and working (62). 

Pleasure can be defined as external happiness, which usually ends in the result of feeling accomplished, if it does not get out of hand as Paprocki mentions in his book (62). Other examples would include: cleaning house, getting dressed up, conversing with a friend, etc.
Joy can be defined as internal happiness which results in The Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love, and The Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance. Joy is considered eternal, everlasting happiness, and is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Read more about The Fruits of the Holy Spirit at Gary Zimak's blog at FollowingtheTruth. In contrast, pleasure is only temporary like a car that runs out of gas.  Although we cannot have one without the other.

We need pleasure, with limits (of course), because due to our human nature, we will feel worthless without it, for example: without a job we may feel worthless thereby leading to feelings of anxiety and depression. Joe Paprocki states in his book, too much pleasure can lead to becoming depended on these behaviors, and focusing on the fact that this is what makes me happy instead of what is eternal (64). Not to confuse jobs with vocations; St. Therese of the child Jesus, said it best: "My vocation is to Love." A vocation is one that we are called to protray for the honor and glory of God through the work of the Holy Spirit. Everyone has different vocations. St. Paul states:

"And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature to manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-13

We need joy because without it we will be like walking zombies on this earth with no destination in mind. We experience joy when: praying the Rosary, reading daily scripture, participating in Holy Mass, volunteering, etc. The following is from today's meditation from WordAmongUs:

“No one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22)

What better way then to end with this verse from the book of John 16:20 from today's Gospel, which can be found on the USCCB website and video by Hillsong - Shout to the Lord:

Jesus said to his disciples:"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.

Adios and God bless!


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