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Archive for April 30th, 2021

Joyful Ache

MEDITATION:

This is an excerpt from the “C.S. Lewis and Joy” Devotional, a reading plan from Lewis’ book “Shadowlands and Songs of Light.”

In C. S. Lewis’ autobiography, Surprised by Joy, he tells of experiencing an other-worldly joy ─ a specific Joy that defies our modern understanding. This idea of Joy is not a satisfied desire but an unsatisfied desire ─ a deep longing for God, a hungry pursuit of God’s heart that never ends and is more satisfying than any earthly happiness. In Shadowlands and Songs of Light, Lewis writes: “Joy—that sharp, wonderful Stab of Longing—has a lithe, muscular lightness to it. It’s deft. It produces longing that weighs heavy on the heart, but it does so with precision and coordination…It dashes in with the agility of a hummingbird claiming its nectar from the flower, and then zips away. It pricks, then vanishes, leaving a wake of mystery and longing behind it.”

Lewis recalls three seemingly trivial and disconnected events with a common thread: he experienced a sudden, piercing pang of longing ─ a bittersweet ache and yearning for something far-off, other-worldly, and unnamed during each event. He would later recognize these sudden aches of longing: a deep spiritual hunger for God ─ not just for an intellectual knowledge of God, but for a real relationship with Him. These deep longings in Lewis’ life ─ these stabs of Joy ─ worked as flashing sign-markers pointing him down the path toward Christ. True Joy, as Lewis presents it to us, is the ache for something beyond this world. The Holy Spirit uses this restlessness to awaken spiritual hunger. When little moments of life ─ like the way the light falls on a summer evening ─ stir you with a deep longing that’s hard to define, don’t look to earthly pursuits to fill the void. Instead, allow the ache to push you deeper into your relationship with God. Pursue Him. Allow that longing for Him to become the hottest fire in your heart.

PRAYER:

From the Mozarabic Rite, a liturgical rite of the Latin Church once used generally in the Iberian Peninsula (Hispania), in what is now Spain and Portugal.  Developed during Visigoth (Arian Christian) rule of the Iberian peninsula  in the 500s AD.

Jesus our Master,

walk with us on the road

as we yearn to reach the heavenly country,

so that following your light,

we may stay on the way of righteousness

and never wander in the horrible darkness of this world’s night

while you, the way, the truth, and the life,

are shining within us.

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