Joy! Why We Are All Here.

The Divine Joy.  Did you ever consider that maybe the “Big Bang” was a Big Laugh?  Or a Big Shout of Joy?  That the Trinity could not take it any more—that is the joy of being, the joy of existence, the joy that is the joie d’vivere, the celebration of a universe where “existence itself is the miracle.”  (Rilke).  Or—even more likely because scientists tell us there was no sound at all when the universe began–a big, quiet smile of mischief when the Creator came up with the crazy idea to birth a universe (and put homo sapiens into it)? 

The Big Laugh, the Big Smile. Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Why is there a universe?  In order to share the joy, of course!  A new and unheard of surprise to launch a universe smaller than a zygote that would expand over 14 billion years into two trillion galaxies?  Each with hundreds of billions of stars?  And would include giraffes and hippos and forests and oceans, mountains and rivers, fishes and birds, flowers, plants and human beings—all born from 13.8 billion years of birthing from the time of the Big Laugh, Big Smile, overflowing exuberance, playfulness and the bubbling over of divine Joy? 

Thomas Aquinas had such an idea when he proposed that “Sheer Joy is God’s and this demands companionship.”  The purpose of the universe is Joy.  Ours and the Creator’s.  Joy does not want to be contained, it demands to be shared, like fire or like a laugh.  It wants company and nurtures community.  Which was very dear to the Trinity which ultimately birthed all of creation.  And the beauty and original blessing of it all started things off with, as we say, a big bang, a big laugh, a bursting joy, a twinkling and mischievous smile matched only by unbounded beauty and wonder.

Photo by Competitive Insight on Unsplash

For this reason, “joy is the human’s noblest act” and “God is supremely joyful and therefore supremely conscious.”  (Aquinas)  If Joy—ours and God’s—renders us ever more conscious, can we spread the joy? 

Welcome aboard!  Welcome to existence, to creation, to the universe, your home.

Wouldn’t it be good to teach this to our children very early and before and instead of teaching them about divine wrath or a place called hell or original sin or guilt or shame or despair?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 33-40.  

And Fox, In the Beginning there Was Joy: A Celebration of Creation for Children of All Ages. (Coming soon!)

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: Joy! Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

What difference does it make–if any–to think that the universe began with a big laugh or mischievous smile or shout of joy?

Recommended Reading

Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him.  He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French).  He  gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way. 
“The teaching of Aquinas comes through will a fullness and an insight that has never been present in English before and [with] a vital message for the world today.” ~ Fr. Bede Griffiths (Afterword).
Foreword by Rupert Sheldrake

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

12 thoughts on “Joy! Why We Are All Here.”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you Matthew for reminding us that the mystics experienced and shared God’s Spirit of Divine LOVE~WISDOM~PEACE~JUSTICE~CREATIVITY~TRANSFORMATION~JOY~BEAUTY… Always Being Alive and Present within and among us in the ongoing co-Creation~Incarnation~Evolution of our Eternal Souls in the Diverse Loving Oneness of our multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos, including all beings in our sacred beautiful Mother Nature/Earth….

  2. Avatar

    Love: God’s Wild Card
    A Poem by Anne Sexton

    I’m mooring my rowboat
    at the dock of the island called GOD.
    This dock is made in the shape of a fish
    and there are many different boats moored
    at many different docks…

    “On with it!” He says and thus
    we squat on the rocks by the sea
    and play can it be true
    a game of poker.
    He calls me.
    I win because I hold a royal straight flush.
    He wins because He holds five aces.
    A wild card had been announced
    but I had not heard it
    being in such a state of awe
    when He took out the cards and dealt.
    As He plunks down His five aces
    and I sit grinning at my royal flush,
    He starts to laugh,
    the laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth
    and into mine,
    and such laughter that he doubles right over me
    laughing a Rejoice-Chorus at our two triumphs.
    Then I laugh, the fishy dock laughs
    the sea laughs. The island laughs.
    The Absurd laughs.

    Dearest dealer,
    I with my royal straight flush,
    love you so for your wild card,
    that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-haaa
    and lucky love.

    Anne Sexton

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Thank you for helping me to remember the beauty of joy. I have a tendency to take myself and life way to seriously and as a result the blessings of joy have often alluded me… not because they weren’t available and accessible to be received… but rather because I denied myself the joy, which has always been there, to be freely partaken of.

    I realize, that this is an issue of worthiness for me… that I don’t need to be perfect… to be good enough… to work harder, or that I have to suffer… in order to be made somehow more worthy of experiencing the joy that comes from the many beautiful blessings that life has to offer.

    Thank you also Patrick for your comment today, regarding gratitude… and for reminding me how a grateful heart opens oneself to experiencing being in the flow of joy. Sometimes I get stuck in the muck and mire of complaining, wishing things would be different than they are… which results in me missing the cup of joy, which is offered me to drink from, daily… in the midst of all the things going on in the world, that often deeply saddens me. The pathway of joy, hasn’t come easy for an empath such as myself.

  4. Avatar

    Joy precludes the transactional demands made by power-seekers both in the church and beyond it.
    The Universe is Love/Loving. We did nothing to create it and we cannot destroy it. If we choose to join it, we will have peace.
    Otherwise, we have what we see all around us—*religious* whip-bearers demanding, not LOVE inviting.

  5. Avatar

    Yes, Joy!
    But WHY is it so much easier to access as we age? This is not just my personal experience but shared by many (older) friends.

  6. Avatar

    It makes all the difference to see laughter and joy as the beginning of creation—it precludes the whole concept of an angry, vengeful, judgmental God—or a sober, serious deity. That is why I prefer Proverbs 8: 22-31 to other creation stories and even to John 1, because it is so lighthearted: 30-31: “Then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world, and delighting in the human race.” This is Wisdom, and she speaks truth IMO.

    I also agree with Patrick about joy welling up and spilling out from gratitude–if we cultivate and practice to give it a chance. I also agree with Jeannette that I more often get hung up in darkness and grief for the world, so I need to be intentional about admitting joy into my life. I search out sources of humor and have found the FB page Laughing Librarian to be the perfect place to elicit at least one belly laugh a day.

  7. Avatar

    DEEP PEACE, STRONG LOVE, GREAT JOY – these are the three words inscribed on my husband’s gravestone, which will also be my gravestone eventually. To me these are the attributes of the Divine One, and my hope is to embody them in my own life.

  8. Avatar

    Joy is entering in, enjoy. Joy is the equal and equitable, importance of all living things. The power of joy is when everyone has food and forgiveness, for our physical and spiritual needs. The wealth of joy comes to us as Jesus lived, putting power with and not over any body above Him or below Him. “This day you will be with Me, in Paradise. The wealth we acquire through joy is the everlasting fullness of Life, for all living things as our omega point, in simply following Life by living and dying.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: