The Demon of Joylessness

The third obstacle to living meekly stems from the tendency to see only what is wrong in a situation and never to affirm the good. This trait breeds a joylessness that lacks beatitude. We become literally killjoys, murdering that spirit of lightheartedness that signifies union with God. Without joy, we can never experience carefree playing before the face of the Father. If we do not know how to play, we may be unable to pray. We exude displeasure and are prone to pick fights. Others perceive a hostile streak in us. We are prone to insult people. We lack patience. What flows from our mouths is not blessing but barbs of bitterness. Joyless as we are, we find it nearly impossible to bestow kind words on others. We lack human warmth and seem to be angry at ourselves and the world.
— Susan Muto


"The profile of joylessness is clear and distasteful: bitter, impatient, pugnacious, hostile, cold, and aloof — all 'killjoy' qualities. By contrast, joy is buoyant and warm, lighthearted, gracious, and life-giving. By creating an atmosphere of play, it opens the door to the possibility of happiness. More, it serves as a symbol of dwelling in God's presence, of becoming a conduit of the very joy of God. The ability to affirm what is good while not neglecting what is wrong is another characteristic of the joyful person. Could it be that joy makes prayer possible?"


"Get in touch with someone who has shared human warmth with you, who has brought joy to your life. Thank that individual for being a gift and a blessing."