LET US REJOICE
Many of your letters have reached us. They all arrived at once and I would like to answer them to you all, also at once. In all your letters, in different forms, was expressed one good, constructive thought. Each spoke well of his co-workers. Therefore let this greeting also be read by you all, together.
It is well noted that our friend was filled with the idea of "rejoice," precisely at the very time when I dispatched this same word. Just as in ancient times a greeting was started by this wish, so we, too, should not be niggardly in directing to each other a good wish.
Let this greeting be always in your daily life. And when the days are especially tense, when it is confused and difficult, then strengthen each other with this benevolent reminder. It is hard for everyone. It cannot be calculated for whom it is harder and for whom easier. One feels it in one way, another in a different way; in all this variety of feelings and experiences some could be hopelessly hard, as it were.
Such illusory hopelessness will be dispersed by a sincere, friendly well-wishing. Each joy is already a new path, new possibility. And every depression will be but a loss, even of that small thing which we possess at the time. Each mutual obduracy, each growth of a-n offense will be actually a suicide or an obvious attempt toward it.
One does not save solely by crying out; one does not convince only by a command; but the bright "rejoice," like a lamplight in the darkness will disperse the heart's anguish and darkening clouds. For what are you meeting together? In order to create good, to serve good and Light in every way. Amidst your communions let a constant desire grow to meet more often, to give to each other something encouraging and strengthening. Among these encouragements, so needed in daily life, the most fruitful will be the simple "Rejoice."
People often deprive themselves of joy. They submerge their thinking in such dark shadowy stagnation that to each greeting they will answer with suspicion, "We should rejoice?" Yes, my dears, precisely you. There cannot be any situation in which a valiant spirit would not see a glimmer of light. Not without reason do you speak in your letters about remaining vigorous. This vigor is built up in you. For its sake you read a great deal, and in order to make deductions from your observations, you affirm them in your gatherings.
I am sending you here an excerpt from a letter in which another distant correspondent writes about darkness and ignorance. You also are acquainted with such conditions. In this letter there is no evidence of a desire to deliberately slander someone by any means whatsoever. On the contrary, the sinister facts are deplored. The malicious ignorance had caused heart's pain. But to this you will also say, "This, too, will pass." You not only will live through such reality, but recognizing it, you will conquer it with valor.
For the inception of such valor you will exchange smiles in a hearty greeting, "Let us rejoice." We will know how to treat each other with solicitude, heartily, and again, very joyously. Some dark signs, even in their darkness, appear as forerunners of Light. There is an expression in the East, "the first glimmer before the dawn." You notice it does not refer to the sunrise itself, not even to the dawn, but to the first noticed glimmer. The more keenly you look around, the more glimmers of light you will find. "The morning cometh, and also the night," thus, in the words of the watchman, the prophet Isaiah answers. In spite of the night, he already sees the dawn. And the dawn can be greeted precisely by the best bidding, "Let us rejoice."
It is good that you do not complain at all. Useless complaints have caused so much harm to people, and most of all to those who complained. Truly, why should a man complain about the fact that at a certain hour he happens to be in a definite place, and in a definite condition? To begin with, he himself worked hard to achieve both; and, too, why should a man feel so positive that he could be more useful in another place?
Maybe in this very place where he is at present, he has to fulfill a great and beautiful mission. Maybe he is placed precisely in this situation to guard vigilantly and strongly. Maybe in this very place something so very important is entrusted to him that he could not carry it out in any other place. People often imagine in an illusory way that they have to rush somewhere, forgetting the great treasures which are entrusted to their guardianship.
What would happen if all good people were gathered in an isolated place? True, they could fill space with powerful thoughts. But nevertheless they would have to send trusted messengers for earthly tasks, for faithful and urgent work. And what would happen if these messengers would refuse to go on a journey in the darkness of the night, amidst icy storms? Indeed, to walk upon sharp stones," to expect an enemy's knife from behind each rock, and to hear coarse, sacrilegious talk is not pleasant. But how else would earthly tasks be accomplished? How else will the temple be built, and how else is it possible to bring joy to the people?
Therefore, it is so good that you do not complain, that you understand the meaning and significance of work in a definite place. Of course, you cherish in your heart the far-off journey into the blessed country. You see within yourself, in your consciousness, all the benevolent structures about which every thinking person should ponder. You preserve within yourself the readiness to cross over all sharp stones and to listen to all threats and roarings, because you know where you have to go and the purpose of it.
And now, when you gather for communions, you will fill these hours with genuine joy. You will strengthen each other in realizing that evil is transitory and good is eternal. And where there is joy, there is already the seed of good. A benevolent smile does not resemble the grimace and smirk of the masks of evil. True joy will beware of all kinds of obscenity and sacrilege. Because joy issues from Light!
In joy alone will you find inexhaustible strength to incessantly continue the creativeness for good. In joy people strive to get together. Precisely in joy there is no loneliness. In joy I am writing to all of you together, because I do not wish to disunite you in any way. Why should one tell someone secretly about joy?
Joy is in reality. Joy is in trust. Joy is in mutual strengthening. Magnanimity, of which we always speak, is not an abstraction. Difficult days are here. And in these hours let us especially remember and preserve joy.
Let us rejoice.
June 18, 1935