Life in this world is full of pain. But pain, which is the contrary of pleasure, is not necessarily the contrary of happiness or joy. Because spiritual joy flowers in the full expansion of freedom that reaches out without obstacle to its supreme object, fulfilling itself in the perfect activity of disinterested love for which it was created…. True joy is found…in the intense and supple and free movement of our will rejoicing in what is good not merely for us but in Itself.

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books, 1961). p. 259.

Emphasis mine

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