Joy is the fruit of the Spirit, a gift — as is the life portrayed by Jesus in the Beatitudes. And so we wade into the water, almost as novices who never learned to swim. At first, the nonswimmer experiences the water as the enemy, as all peril. He flails, struggles mightily, feeling his body sinking, unable to battle the water successfully to stay afloat. But a loving instructor looks him in the eye and says: "Trust the water. Don't fight the water. Just rest. Be still. The water will hold you." And so, gradually the nonswimmer relaxes, and discovers to his surprises, a buoyancy. And then he is no longer a nonswimmer. Trust the Spirit. Trust the speaker of the Beatitudes. And then you will be blessed.

James C. Howell, The Beatitudes for Today