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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Francis and Joy: To Preach with a Smile

I've recently been asked from a to write up a 200 word reflection for an online retreat centered around St. Francis of Assisi.  In this five-week retreat, a reflection will be posted for participants to reflect and discuss on.  I chose the topic "Francis and Joy" and this was my submission:

Francis and Joy
On the wall by my desk I have a post-it note that reads, “Begin the day with joyful anticipation.”  It reminds me that every day is an opportunity to anticipate and become aware of the moments that give us joy. A child’s innocent questioning. The way the sun shines.  Even laughing out how a day unfolds the way we hadn’t planned.
 I believe Francis, the man of “perfect joy” began his day with joyful anticipation.  And it all has to come from God.  Think of the holiest person you know in your life.  Now think of the most joyful person you know in your life?  Is it not the same person?  When our most Holy Father Pope Francis stepped out for the first time, didn’t his smile exude joy that made us all instantly fall in love with him?  I think this is part of what Francis meant when he said to “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.”  Live, preach, and act with a smile. Evangelize with joy.  We want to attract others, wanting them to ask, “What does he or she have that I don’t?  I want that.”  It’s joy. It’s holy. And it all comes from God.


Let's all try it today.  Preach with a smile today.  No words necessary.


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