Relation between real love and complete joy

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

The relation between the two has been defined by Christ himself. “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” Then later on, he said, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (Jn 15,10-11)

It’s clear that the secret to having the real love that gives us the complete joy is to follow the commandments of God. That’s just how things should be, after all God is the source and the power of all good things.

We have to be wary of our tendency to find love and joy somewhere else. Nowadays, that tendency is sharpened because of the many developments that while giving us a lot of good, can also give us a lot of dangers. As a result, many of us end up confused and lost, chasing after what only are mirages of love and joy.

We cannot overemphasize our great need to know, love and live as fully as possible the commandments of God to have the real love and the complete joy. In other words, living by God’s will is, in the end, what is most important to us.

It’s not just following our will which is, of course, indispensable to us. Otherwise, we would be undermining our very own freedom and our humanity itself. Whatever we do is done because we want it. It should be a fruit of our freedom.

But what is most important is to conform our will to God’s will, which is even more indispensable to us. Otherwise, we sooner or later would destroy our freedom which is the launching pad of our love, as well as our humanity itself, since God is the very author and the very lawgiver of our freedom, love and our humanity.

This is a basic truth that we need to spread around more widely and abidingly, since it is steadily and even systematically forgotten and, nowadays, even contradicted in many instances. We need to inculcate this truth to children as early as when they can understand and appreciate it. Then let’s give them the example of how it is lived.

God’s will is the source of everything in the universe. The whole of creation in all its existence, unity, truth, goodness and beauty starts from God’s will and is maintained by it. The entire range and scope of reality—be it material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, temporal or eternal—is “contained” there, not only theoretically but in vivo.

We have to realize more deeply that it is in God’s will that everything is made to exist and is kept in existence in accordance to his providence. Since we have been made with the capacity to know and to will, we have to live our life knowing and willing together with God’s knowledge and will, full of wisdom, love and mercy.

In other words, we have to cooperate with God’s providence, we have to live by God’s abiding will. Thus, St. Paul says: “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom 14,8)

We have to learn to live by God’s will that is shown to us, thanks to God, by Christ, the fullness of divine revelation, who left us with his word and the sacraments in the Church. This is how we can have the real love that gives us the complete joy!