It is beautiful how St. Francis Assisi puts perfect joy. He says to Friar Leo, "When we come to St. Mary of the Angels, soaked by the rain and frozen by the cold, all soiled with mud and suffering from hunger, and we ring at the gate of the Place and the brother porter comes and says angrily: 'Who are you?' And we say: 'We are two of your brothers.' And he contradicts us, saying: 'You are not telling the truth. Rather you are two rascals who go around deceiving people and stealing what they give to the poor. Go away And he does not open for us, but makes us stand outside in the snow and rain, cold and hungry, until night falls-then if we endure all those insults and cruel rebuffs patiently, without being troubled and without complaining, and if we reflect humbly and charitably that that porter really knows us and that God makes him speak against us, oh, Brother Leo, write that perfect joy is there!
'And if we continue to knock, and the porter comes out in anger, and drives us away with curses and hard blows like bothersome scoundrels, saying; 'Get away from here, you dirty thieves-go to the hospital! Who do you think you are? You certainly won't eat or sleep here'--and if we bear it patiently and take the insults with joy and love in our hearts, Oh, Brother Leo, write that that is perfect joy!
And if later, suffering intensely from hunger and the painful cold, with night falling, we still knock and call, and crying loudly beg them to open for us and let us come in for the love of God, and he grows still more angry and says: 'Those fellows are bold and shameless ruffians. I'll give them what they deserve.' And he comes out with a knotty club, and grasping us by the cowl throws us onto the ground, rolling us in the mud and snow, and beats us with that club so much that he covers our bodies with wounds--if we endure all those evils and insults and blows with joy and patience, reflecting that we must accept and bear the sufferings of the Blessed Christ patiently for love of Him, oh, Brother Leo, write: that is perfect joy! Joy is the attitudes that we create. According to Francis we can have it wherever we are and in whatever situation we are. A millionaire can be an unhappy person.
You might have heard about St. Maximilian Kolbe. He is a polish Franciscan friar who did sacrifice his life for another man in the concentration camp of Hitler. The biographers says that his cell was happy and the soldiers heard singing and praying from the cell. He proves that joy is that we create.
According to Democritus, Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul. Aristotle says: "Happiness depends upon ourselves". Hellen Keller has a beautiful thought on it "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us". We learn from all these that joy is that we create, even we can create joy from the most miserable state of life.
One of the Indian guru asks what dies the flame does? It goes up and keep your flames up and be joyful in every situation.
Once a lady came to Buddha and asked him to give life to the dead body of her son. Buddha said that is not possible but she insisted. Buddha said go to the village and visit houses if you find a house without sorrow bring a handful of mustard seed from that house. She came back by evening very tired and she said everyone in the village has sorrow. The story teaches that everyone has reasons to be unhappy. Therefore, let us always remember Francis "perfect joy".