A JOYFUL HEART I desire for them - I must show them mine, first.
Do you remember the movie, Life is Beautiful? I'll never forget the intense love the father had for his son, and how he desired to demonstrate optimism, cheerfulness and JOY in the midst of such dire circumstances. My daily circumstances will never resemble such a horror as the Holocaust (I hope). And, yet, I struggle to show my children that the hope in my heart for the Lord is stronger than any struggle before me. That hope is best exemplified through a joyful countenance.
(Photo from Walking With Faith in God Blog)I am inspired and encouraged by Mother Theresa's words concerning cheerfulness in daily life, taken from the book Heart of Joy, and I hope that you will be too:
What would our life be like if the sisters were not cheerful? It would be mere slavery. We would work without attracting anybody. (Yes, who would want to be a stay at home mom if they thought it would be miserable?) Sadness, discouragement, and slowness open the doors for sloth, which is the mother of all evils.
If you are joyful, do not worry about lukewarmness. Joy will shine in your eyes and in your look, in your conversation and in your countenance. You will not be able to hide it, because joy overflows. When people see happiness in your eyes, they will become aware of their nature as children of God. (What a gift our joy is to our children!)
Holy souls sometimes undergo great inward trial, and they know darkness. but, if we want others to become aware of the presence of Jesus, we must be the first ones convinced of it. Imagine a sister who goes to the slums with a sad face (or a mommy who goes about her home in the same way) and a slow pace. What can her presence convey to poor people? Nothing but a deeper discouragement. Joy is very contagious. try, therefore, to be always overflowing with joy whenever you go among the poor (or among your family!).
Joy, according to Saint Bonaventure, has been given to man so that he can rejoice in God, because of the hope of the eternal good and on the sight of all the benefits he receives from God. Thus, he will know how to rejoice at his neighbor's prosperity, how to be pleased in giving glory to God, and how to feel discontent concerning empty things.