The greatest enemy of spiritual joy is sadness. It is so easy to serve God fervently, to spread goodness and practice virtue when we are aware of God's presence in our lives. However, when we experience feelings of sadness and despondency we act in the opposite manner. We have no inner peace, we are troubled and down-hearted. We go about weak and all our good resolutions have diminished. We may even avoid praying. Yet prayer is what we really should do.
"Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray." (James 5:13)
When we are suffering from sadness we should turn to prayer so that our hearts can be strengthened. Prayer puts us into God's presence and this will lift our spirit and fill our souls with confidence.Our awarenss of God's joyful presence will bring peace, the peace for which our hearts long.
Rejoice in the Lord! We celebrate this season of Easter for fifty days! We have reasons for joy...
Beloved brethren and sons and daughters, is it not normal that joy should dwell in us, when our hearts contemplate or rediscover, in faith, the fundamental and simple reasons for joy? God has so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; through His Spirit, God's presence does not cease to enfold us with His tenderness and to fill us with His life; and we are journeying towards the blessed transfiguration of our life in the path of the resurrection of Jesus. (Apostolic Exhortation, On Christian Joy, Pope Paul VI, 1975)
We as Chrsitains should always be filled with joy, even in our sufferings, because of Christ. He is the source of our joy, the cause of our joy. St. Paul tells us in several places in his Epistles to rejoice in the Lord always, to pray without ceasing and to give thanks to God for everything, counting all to be pure joy.
The attainment of such an outlook is not just a matter of psychology. It is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Apostolic Exhortation, On Christian Joy, Pope Paul VI, 1975)
The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22)