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In the wonderfully reflective book entitled, The Prophet, one can contemplate these words:


The woman questioned the one she called Prophet of God, saying:

“Speak to us now of Joy and Sorrow”. And he answered:

The same well from which your laughter rises was often times filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed out with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find that it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again into your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.


I want to understand the inseparable relationship between joy and sorrow. I need to understand. In my own moments of despair, I need to understand. How can it be? That in dying we a born to eternal life. . . that my deepest sorrow can be the source of my most profound joy.


The words speak a paradox difficult to grasp. Yes, Eternal life does follow physical death -- that is a statement of faith. But is there even more? Perhaps the paradoxical statement about life and death -- and about joy and sorrow -- whispers to us a secret: that each time even a part of us dies, we experience -- in some sense -- a resurrection, a deepening of spiritual sensitivity that is eternal. And that every time we experience a devastating sorrow, joy may also be present in some inexplicable way.

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