The Secret Of Joy: My Response On The Imperative Of being In The State Of Blissfulness.

“Soyez Toujours Joyeux” is a French phrase that I enjoy hearing as it lightens my mood. It reads “Be always joyful”. No matter the situation, accept it with joy and smiles.

The imperative of being joyful for each individual and collectively as a society, cannot be overemphasized. The word Joy is from Middle English Joye, that was borrowed from Old FrenchJoie“, which was from Late Latin Gaudia, neuter plural of Latin Gaudium (“joy”), from gaudēre “To be glad, rejoice” could be explained as blissfulness, the tranquility of the soul, delight, elation.

Joy according to theopedia is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope.

The whole team of Mareponse is wishing the director of Mareponse a happy birthday and pray for good health as he celebrates another year in his life. May God grant him joy. Amen.   John Aniobi is a Catholic priest of Catholic Diocese of Awgu. He is currently on a mission in Maradi, Niger Republic

Joy has been the most cherished and searched emotion on earth. And people engage themself in so many activities in search of joy and to exist in a state of blissfulness. They climb mountains and crosses oceans in the bid to attain it but very few achieve that state of joyousness. Some have turned themselves into drunkards since they thought that their joy will come from the “bottles” but unfortunately, they swiveled into a more dangerous life situation that makes joy even more difficult to attain. Some have traveled to visit the most beautiful places, but they could not find them. Some others have relied on a negative lives style in search of joy but came out in a more devastated, wrecked, and a ruined state. Their lives become unfortunate and truncated. Some have the thinking and believe that acquiring wealth and having so many properties, estates both nationally and internationally will increase their joy, but they got disappointed and frustrated.

Some have acquired wealth massively and have millions and billions both in the national and international banks and have relied on such wealth as a source of joy, but unfortunately, in the real sense joy was not near to them. And that reminds me of the word of the psalmist in Psalm 4:7 “You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.” Amassing wealth cannot give one joy it can offer pleasure, but one can also be wealthy and joyful, but this can be possible when we are able to understand the real essence of our existence when we understand the through meaning and source of joy. Some others will say I will be joyful only when I acquire this or that, attaching once joy on a material thing is dangerous.

However, in our world today, people have really misunderstood the essence of their existence thereby living their lives in pursuit of pleasure with the intention of harvesting internal joy but unfortunately, they end up getting disappointed. Therefore, people search for joy, but they embrace often that which engulfs them with pains and penury. We pursue that which strips us of our joy and increases our pains. We pursue that which provides us with flashes of pleasures but in their very essence are meaningless. Meaningless because they do not last, and they do not satisfy infinitely. The book of Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 made obvious this thought thus “I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.  So, I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?”  After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness…”

Therefore, having made the following exposition, the question becomes then, where do we find joy? Which road can lead to utmost joy? Which plane or ship or car can carry us to the place of its utmost attainment? Which food or drink can provide us an infinite joy? Is joy in the mountain top or in the nice places like; Tower Eiffel in Paris, Feroa Island, Vatican City, Plage de Marida. Can enjoy our meal in the best restaurants like “Antichi Sapori, Montegrosso, Italy” or “Noma, Copenhagen”, “Sirocco Bangkok, Thailand”, “Westlight Brooklyn, New York” provides us with needed joy?

Also, can flying the most expensive plane “Airbus A380 Custom” or sitting in the business class provides us the needed joy? Or can flying a private jet bring us true joy? To all these questions, it is quite unfortunate that all these are not the source of lasting joy.  Joy is not gained in material things. When God created us, he did not create our source of joy in material things. People place their joy in material things as a result of ignorance and misappropriation of value. It is a wrong understanding of life.

The question remains, therefore “where is joy, how do we find the joy that lasts, and how do we increase our joy. I would like to explain this with the following Points:


True joy is a gift from God. In the Scripture we read that joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Joy comes from believing in God, belonging to His Kingdom, and knowing Jesus as Lord.  We read in Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” our joy will be complete when we trust in God. Sometimes we trust in things that do not give joy. We trust in things that have no meaning and things that steal our joy. But the real joy is in the Lord. When we trust in God and understand the plans of God in our lives, we must surely be joyful. Therefore, our joy comes from the Lord and not from the material things of this world. In Romans 14:17 St Paul states “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”. When we understand this source of Joy, we will every day of our life sing a song of praise every with the psalmist in Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


Joy is not in the exterior but in the interior. It is inside us and it moves and walks with us. It is not on the exterior. We just need to go into ourselves in contemplation. There is a difference between looking and contemplation. In looking we just see things from the face value, but in contemplation, we see things as they really are. Contemplation is going into our innermost self and discover the reality as they really are. In contemplation, we do not need to see the best of things, in contemplation we only need to see the smallest of things and savor its sweetness in an extraordinary manner. In contemplation we will notice that joy is very near, that joy is very simple. Joy is not found in high places. You can be in your compound and enjoy the esthetics of the surroundings of your house. You can only do that when you realize that joy is found in the little things of life. You do not need to travel far to attain it, it is inside you. There are many beautiful things in this world if you have thought that you will be happy when you have the opportunity of seeing beautiful things, know that there are many things to see. There are many beautiful things in this world, which one, in particular, will satisfy your urge. Therefore, sit down and enter inside yourself and experience the joy of life in the beauty of the day’s sun or the drippings of the rain and be conscious of its beauty. Not a mere looking at these beautiful creatures, but contemplating on them. Joy is very near to us.



We should be very conscious of the difference between joy and pleasure. This is because sometimes we hinge on pleasure thinking that we are joyful. And that is why we experience often what the Psychologists call “mood swings”. The “mood swing” phenomenon is a common concept used to describe rapidly and intensely fluctuating emotions. People often describe mood swings as a “roller coaster” of feelings from happiness and contentment to anger, irritability, and even depression. Characteristically, pleasure has a time and duration, but joy has no time and duration because it is a state of mind and it is there also. Pleasure is conditional, but joy is not conditional. We have pleasure when we eat chicken with a nice champagne wine or when we take a cold stone creamery or Abach and Isiefi. All these come with pleasure, but once it is finished, what next with respect to joy. Joy is not mere pleasure, not the outcome of wealth, it is the result of active work rather than passive. Joy also goes with a deep sense of happiness, balance, and harmony. It is not impulsive and therefore does not lead to hasty decisions. While pleasure can be related to a temporary sense of gratification and often can lead to bad decisions. Joy has no sense of urgency, whereas one craves pleasure to be instantaneous. In a general context, both joy and pleasure refer to feelings of happiness. Pleasure is a broad range of mental states such as happiness, enjoyment, entertainment, and ecstasy. Joy is an emotion. The key difference between joy and pleasure is that joy arises within you whereas pleasure is derived from something outside. But if you rely on the things outside, you remain perpetually sad.


Conditional joy has to do with making a choice. It has to do with choosing what will make us happy. It has to do with the choices we make and the value system we adopt. Conditional joy says we can be happy on weekends, but can never be happy on Monday. It says that we can only be happy if we gain this or that. We can only be happy if we make much money and plane burials to be like obi Cubana mothers’ burial. Conditional joy says that I can only be happy when I travel Europe, that is “try me in Luxembourg, Canada, France, Switzerland mentality”. Conditional joy makes us have a lot of attachment and condition to and we believe in such conditions. Conditional joy also says that I can only be happy when I acquire wealth here and there. But joy is your natural state, it comes from inside you, it is who you really are. If you do not place condition to your joy, you can be suffering and be happy as well. People will be surprise but if you attach a condition to your joy, you will stand always to complain and be in enmity with everyone.


A joyful person is always cheerful. He is always in a tranquil state. All our education and higher learnings are simply meant to lead us towards gaining tranquility of the soul which according to the philosopher Epicurus is known as “ataraxia” in Greek. And we cannot grow in perfection without joy.  St Philip Neri opined “A heart filled with joy is more easily made perfect than one that is sad.”
Cheerfulness amongst others is the goal of philosophy. A joyful person is always cheerful, this is because at each moment he sees things in a very positive means. He sees life as it is and hardly loves the complications of life. St. Pio of Pietrelcina says “Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.”

Finally, to gain inner peace and to be joyful, one must live a virtuous life, a virtuous life brings the tranquility of the soul. It helps one to be the focus. Therefore, we must try and avoid anything that will steal our joy. We should not allow the difficult times or uncertainties of lives to steal our joy rather we must be grateful for what we have and the blessings we enjoy. We should be sure that we are not in the most difficult situation. Maybe, if you experience the situation of others, you may then appreciate what you have and be joyful.

I pray that the good Lord may give us the grace to be able to search in our innermost soul that which brings us joy. May he purify our hearts to search less the things that do not give joy. May he help us realize that true joy is not in the external flashy things of this world, rather that the true joy is found inside of us. Amen

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  1. C est un très bon réussit , il est préférable que le travail te donne de la joie si tu le fais avec amour et vérité

  2. Cleverly written. This article evergreen and I recommend for living soul. Thanks for this life changing message.

  3. Cleverly written. This article is evergreen and I recommend it for every living soul. Thanks for sharing this life changing message.

  4. nice massage padre 👍
    I have a question.
    what is your response and view to joy of a couple and single person. I mean the approach they both need to have or retain their joy?
    I always notice that in relationship, one’s joy could be tamed by his/her partner.
    In relationship, can one really decide to have joy if his/her partner chooses not to?
    Or are there both joy dependent on each other?

  5. Indeed Padre you nailed it. When I was in school (college) I had challenges, I used to be very sad and I told myself “once I have good grades I will be very glad (having joy in me), but I was wrong because I made that good grades and was still sad. Meanwhile, sometimes during meditation something in me will always remind that my Joy comes from God, from within me and not from the things I desire, wish or even worked for. But I didn’t listen to that inner voice, until now (post school life} I realized not up to a month now that my Joy is not even in my hands but in the hands of HE who made me and it is always His will for me to be joyous. I asked myself where do I find my maker for this joy?, and I got the reply from this “still voice, in me”, then I decided to go into my soul, there I was in search of the Spirit of Creation (Holy Spirit) and I found Him, I found Joy and I found Peace…. Thank you Padre

  6. Хи-хи

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  7. Good afternoon father. I just read your article on the secret of joy. It is very interesting. You are really great. May God bless you dear. Happy sunday.

  8. Good evening father. I just read your article on the secret of joy. It is a very helpful and educative one. You are really wounderful. May God bless you father. Remain blessed

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