Life is not meant to be a burden. Life is not a problem to be solved. It is a blessing to be celebrated.
Every dimension of life, its gains and its losses, is reason for celebration because each of them brings us closer to wisdom and fullness of understanding.
Loss and loneliness, darkness and depression all sear the soul and cleanse it of its sense of self-sufficiency. Suffering directs it to the God of life.
But so do bounty and beauty and abundance. These give us a foretaste of wholeness. These are the palpable manifestations of the goodness of God in our lives. All of these things come unbidden. They are not signs of either our sin or our sinlessness. They are simply signs that the God of life is a living, loving God.
Learning to celebrate joy is one of the great practices of the spiritual life. It confirms our trust in God. It affirms the greatness of creation. It seals our dependence on God. It attests to the beauty of the present and asserts our confidence in the beauty of the future. It recognizes the mercy and love of God.
When we celebrate the good things in life, we trace them to the Creator who gives without merit, openhandedly, out of the very goodness of community, love, and support that are by nature at the base of the human condition.
—from The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer by Joan Chittister (Twenty-Third Publications)