Is all joy God? If so, why do some act as though there is another joy to rival Him?

I love the British sci-fi series ‘Dr Who’… also films, movie monsters and statues of film characters, film collectables and so on…some love golf…others flower arranging etc.

Are all these elements of God, our ultimate desire? Some people have suggested so to me (joy of joys, I find it a wonderful and moving suggestion that all earthly joys are shadows of the ultimate!) but, if so, why do others act as though there is a pleasure to be had that rivals God? Surely word should be spread that ALL happiness is but a stream running to Him if dutifully followed.

I don’t suggest we become materialist, alcholics or sex-mad…but isn’t it misleading that so many seem to think that these sort of things are pleasures to be had away from and despite of God, as if they were another choice? I spoke to an atheist (nice fellow) about a year ago who said he was happy not believing, because he didn’t want to be made to feel guilty or stopped from enjoying pizzas!

I wouldn’t say all joy is God, as though the two were equated. But we have to realize that because of the Incarnation, wherein God became man, all creation was redeemed. All was created good by the good God, and all was raised up again after the first transgression by the Incarnation of the Word of God. Because God became man, and thus our nature had opened for it access to the divine, we can access God through this world–so even that pizza your atheist friend is afraid to lose if he should be a believer could actually be a way for him to realize something of the goodness of God, even to some small degree. Pleasures in this life only become rival goods to the goodness of God when we prefer them to God’s goodness. But when we realize that all we have is a gift from God, and understand things in their proper place, then we can see God’s goodness in all we have, and thus return to him through his creation.


The best I can do is offer an analogy: one day when I was roughly 8 years old, my older, teenaged, brothers were misbehaving - generally complaining and being annoying. My mom then told my younger brother and I that we were going to go to the library.

I didn’t want to go to the library. I was playing with my legos (which my parents had bought me, and which was legitimately fun), and pretty happy, and the library sounded pretty boring. So I complained a little bit, and asked to stay home but eventually my mom got us both in the car and we left.

It turns out that “going to the library” actually meant going to taco bell (which was an amazing treat at that age) and then going to the playground behind the library and generally having a great time while my older brothers worked off some of that periodic teenage angst. It was great fun, and after I realized what was going on, I felt like a heel for complaining when my mom told us what we were doing, and apologized.

Saying that we’re happy being an atheist because we want to enjoy our pizza and not feel guilty is rather like refusing to accept the “trip to the library” because we want to play with legos. It’s settling for a less because we don’t truly know what we’re being offered. And as for avoiding guilt - well sometimes we should feel guilty. It motivates us to do what is right. When I complained about going to the library, that was bad, and I did need to apologize - my guilt was deserved.

Or in short, we can get so caught up in the shadow, in the little joys God gives us that we forget that He’s standing right there offering us much, much more. This doesn’t mean that the little joys rival God. It just means that even the little joys are actually big enough to distract us, and that if we don’t stop to remember where they came from we can miss out on the much larger Joy.

Or as my eight year old self learned, Legos are great, but sometimes you have to put them down, even if that seems boring and bad, to see what’s really going and end up with something even better. (It’s funny the things that stick with you. I wonder if my parents suspected that that event would leave such a big impression on me.)

First of all, Your atheist friend knows little about Christian view of joy, if he thinks enjoying pizza is sinful. Tell him that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine, so people could keep drinking at a marriage feast. (I know there’s more to the miracle, but giving people enjoyment was part of it)

Jesus was also criticized for partaking of the joys of life.

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”[h]
Matthew 9

The answer lies in moderation. We can enjoy sex within a committed marriage, we can drink if we don’t become drunk, we can enjoy food but not allow it to consume us.

Some of us are called to be like John the Baptist, but that is not the only road to Gos.

I’m a Lego. Does that mean I’m great?:confused:

Not all joy is God. For example there is a Joy that is dish soap!:smiley:

I don’t think using language like “All joy is God” is accurate. Rather, it seems it should be something more like “All joy is from God.” This is true with other properties as well, and should help alleviate confusion.

Lol :extrahappy:

And of course I meant god, not Gos. Darn these fat, stubby fingers.:blush:

I think some faiths think we have to be smiling, singing, and dancing all the time in order to be following the path, because of this idea of joy.

Remember, too, that on earth, Jesus and the Blessed Virgin both had their share of tears. Of course, they also had their share of joy.

The only reason thar joy exists is because God exists.

I’ve gone to more than my share of Pentecostal communities that taught this stuff. Not just Jesus or Mary, but whole bunches of followers of Jesus down through the centuries and even today have had their share of tears as well as of joy. Examples, those Christians in the Middle East, Asia, and other places where political regimes frown on Christianity.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit