Oceans of Joy!

The title of C.S. Lewis’ autobiography, “Surprised by Joy,” is taken from the first line of a William Wordsworth poem that goes, “Surprised by joy, impatient as the wind.” Joy is the great theme of the gospel from the beginning when the messenger of God announces, “Behold I bring you good news of great Joy!” – to the crucifixion in which followers are encouraged to “Fix your eyes on Jesus, who for the joy before Him, endured the cross.”

It is what I touch on in What Joy (χαρα) means to me, and is a constant current that energizes the spiritual life. Today’s prayer comes from Blaise Pascal’s (1623-1662) encounter with God that exults in joy.  Richard Foster writes, “By the time he was thirty-one he was well known for his contributions in the fields of math and science.  However it was in that year that he visited his sister at a religious community in Port Royal, where he heard a sermon that brought about a profound religious experience.  He remembered that day – November 23, 1654 – as a key moment in his life.  He wrote the following on a piece of paper, sewed into the lining of his coat, and carried it with him for the rest of his life:”


God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,

Not of the philosophers and scholars.

Certainty, Certainty, heartfelt joy, peace.  

God of Jesus Christ.

Joy, joy, joy, oceans of joy!


About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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4 Responses to Oceans of Joy!

  1. Pingback: The Holy Laughter of God | Curriculum of the Spiritual Life

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