Sunday, April 17, 2011

Say Cheese!! (Actually, I want you to smile)

‎"A smile is laughter's whisper and has its roots in the soul."
~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

One of the things that I really like about Saint Therese's little way is the resolve to smile, especially when encountered with a grumpy cashier person, a solemn librarian with a face of stone, or just someone who looks like they're having a bad day. Have you ever tried giving them just the tiniest, straight from the heart, joyful little smile? Trust me, it works, and it is soooooo much fun!! ^^ The grumpy cashier person gets all confused that you're thanking him in spite of his nonchalance, the solemn librarian's mouth starts to twitch about the edges ever so slightly at your bubbly enthusiasm for books, and the poor victim of that bad day quite stares at you as if you've gone mad (And guess what? They copy you in the end! Yes, everyone's gone quite mad. Score 1 for God!! XD).

It all starts with a little assignment my Little Way teacher once gave me and my friends:

"Yeah, Cy, it's all well and good when you're at the top of the world, but what if you just can't seem to put one foot in front of the other?"

Those days come. When I think of the martyrs who went to their often-horrific deaths with a radiant smile, I am like Saint Therese and feel like a pebble staring up at a mountain. I've got my own Cross to carry, and it's heavy enough without trying to help carry someone else's! Yeah, well, there was someone who pretty much had the same thought. And it just so happens that I'm named after him: Simon of Cyrene.

When you can't seem to compliment that grumpy cashier person because you're every bit as grumpy as he is, remember that time when Jesus was surrounded by those who shouted for His death on the Cross. When you can't seem to break the stoniness of your own heart and find the joy to share with that old librarian, remember the stoniness of the soldiers' hearts when they scourged Jesus and forced Him to carry the Cross. When you're having a bad day and can't find the strength to smile a ray of light for the person next to you, remember the day that Jesus had that Good Friday so long ago. And if not for the sake of the person next to you, for the sake of giving comfort to our Lord when all others had abandoned Him.
What would you do if you saw the suffering Christ in them?

Now I pass on to you the same assignment that I was given (see above picture). It's really nothing new, in fact, we hear it all the time. It can be summed up in two very simple parts:
1. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind..."
2. "...and love your neighbor as yourself."

The easiest way to start? Start with a smile.

Have a very blessed Holy Week, friends, and may God give you the strength to carry your Cross so to be able to rise with Him on Easter morning.


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