The Ship of Joy

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I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. – John 15:11

Joy is like an old ship that was headed for some adventure, but sunk instead like a slow rock under the heaviness of life, waiting to be unearthed.

Divers, plunging in on the breath of prayer, found my ship a while ago, full of Spanish gold.The treasure laden ship has started to rise to the surface on the current of contemplation. But I am reluctant to let it. I have just enough of the joy currency to coast.

I don’t really want to strike it rich. If I throw my money around everyone will think I am one of those annoying nouveau riche Christians. And they will either roll their eyes or expect way too much of me. They won’t realize of course that the money is not mine, I inherited it a while back.

The marine trust fund has been discovered, but it could disappear underwater again at any time. So, instead of facing the constant fear of sinking, I simply keep my hand on the ship of joy, watching as it bobs underwater, struggling to surface.

Too much joy after all is just not something most people can handle. It causes unrealistic expectations and I am deathly afraid of smiling for the rest of my life. Joy and sanctity are so intertwined. Too much sanctity, now that is even scarier than the never ending smile. So I have decided to keep this joy boat under wraps.

It seems proper.

After all, like most people, I prefer to waver just above average in the sanctity business – just enough so people will admire me but no more. With anything more than slightly above mediocre comes the hassle of consistency. God knows, it’s the consistency that makes a saint. And then the adventure is all over from there.

Or is it?

I forgot it’s the ship of joy that carries us on the adventure in the first place.

Theresa Noble

Theresa Noble

Sr. Theresa Noble is a novice, aka nun in training, with a religious congregation of sisters in the US. She left her job in California with eBay to follow God four years ago. She currently lives in a convent in Boston where she prays, evangelizes, bakes bread and blogs at Pursued by Truth (

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