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“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Mother Teresa

It is easy to smile when life is great around us, when we achieve our goals in life – succeed at school, getting your driver’s licence, buying a car, getting that dream job, marrying, having a family, holidays, buying a new house, ticking off all the things on our ‘To Do List’ or ‘Wish List’, or having a lovely day.

Life can be pretty smooth sailing for a while, until life suddenly changes … we encounter issues with job instability, financial instability, health problems for ourselves or people we live with, external factors we don’t have control over – like nature taking its toll on our homes with floods, damage to houses and properties; wars, terrorism, plagues, rioting, new laws governing our future security in our country.

How do we smile when a loved one is suffering illness and passes away? The overwhelming grief and loss is ever present. All around you, you see people happy and going about their own lives.

The ‘smile’ that Blessed Teresa talks about is a spiritual smile! You can instantly smile when you feel Jesus ever present within you, when you have a deep personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and He only can give you that peace that the world cannot give. How?

  1. By striving to live a virtuous life, praying continually, communicating with God our Father throughout the day, thanking Him for everything around us; praying for the intentions of others, sick, dying, poor, homeless, needs of the Catholic Church.
  2. Reading the Scriptures daily and learning our catholic faith. Reading the Lives of the Saints we learn how they dealt with life’s challenges and adversities.
  3. Attending Holy Mass regularly, listening to the Word of God and receiving the Holy Eucharist, food for our souls.
  4. Regular Confession, striving to avoid sin
  5. Eucharistic Adoration
  6. Daily Examen of Conscience
  7. Practicing good works of mercy

When we know more about Jesus, then we can smile from the heart and soul, even in times when we encounter adversities and challenges.

We smile at our brothers and sisters in Christ, wishing them peace and blessings! Each time we smile at someone we impart peace and blessings to be spread around the world! And we in turn also experience peace and healing.

Shalom!

 

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Do not begin to paddle unless you intend always to paddle.
– Saint John de Brebeuf (1593-1649), martyr, Feast day March 16

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta 30/5/14 – 

“We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party. Not at all!  We cry, we cry so many times. When we are sick; when we have a problem with our son, in the family, with our daughter, or wife, or husband; When we see that our salary does not reach the end of the month and we have a sick child; when we see that we cannot pay the mortgage on the house and we must somehow survive … So many problems, we have so many. But Jesus tells us: ‘Do not be afraid!’. ‘Yes, you will be sad, cry and people will even rejoice, the people who are against you'”.

“But – he continued – there is another sadness: the sadness that comes to all of us when we take the wrong road”. When , “to put it simply”, “we try to buy happiness, joy, [the happiness and joy] of the world, of sin.  In the end there is a void within us, there is sadness”. And this, he reiterated , “is the sadness of  the wrong sort of happiness”. Christian joy, “is a joy in hope, which comes”.
“However, in times of trial we do not see this. It is a joy that is purified by trials, our everyday trials: ‘Your sorrow will turn to joy’. But it’s hard to go to a sick person who is suffering greatly and say: ‘Come on! Come on! Tomorrow you will have joy!’. No, you cannot say this! We have to help them feel what Jesus made us feel. When we are in the dark, we do not see anything , ‘I know, Lord, that this sorrow will turn to joy. I do not know how, but I know it!’. An act of faith in the Lord. An act of faith!”.
To help us understand the sadness turns to joy, Jesus takes the example of a woman in labor: “It’s true, women suffer a lot in childbirth – the Pope said – but then when she holds her child,  she forgets”. What remains is “the joy of Jesus, a purified joy”. That is “the joy that remains”. The Pope acknowledged that this joy is “hidden in some moments of life, we do not feel it in bad times, but it comes later: a joy in hope”. This, then, “is the message of the Church today: Do not be afraid!”.
“Be courageous in suffering and remember that after the Lord will come, after joy will come, after the dark comes the sun. May the Lord give us all this joy in hope. And the sign that we have this joy in hope is peace. How many sick, who are at the end of life, in pain, have that peace of soul … This is the seed of joy, this is the joy of hope and peace. Do you have peace of soul in times of darkness, in times of trouble, in times of persecution, when everyone else rejoices at your suffering? Do you have peace? If you have peace, you have the seed of joy that will come later. May the Lord help us understand these things”.

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