18 Jan

“True holiness consists in doing God’s will with a smile.”  ~ St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“I don’t want to see any fish faces.”  After almost twenty years at my present assignment, I have had the opportunity to watch the preparation for our annual fall musicals.  One of the things the students hear a lot of while rehearsing on stage is the admonition to avoid “fish face”, i.e., faces that are largely unexpressive.  The students are instructed to smile while singing and engage the audience with the expressions on their faces at all times.  Doing so, they will bring the audience into the “reality” of the show.

I used to hear that a lot in singing rehearsals in high school and college as well.  We were told to smile.  There was never any reason, we were instructed, to frown in front of other people because doing so would minimize the material that we were trying to present.

A smile is a wondrous thing.  It can bring warmth and joy to a heart.  Look at any adult who sees a baby smile at them.  The adults melt like wax.  A smile can convey a sense that everything is all right.  It conveys confidence and a willingness to go along with the person who is smiling.  In short, smiling draws people in.

If you see someone doing a chore of some kind and they have a frown on their face, you can pretty much be assured that they are doing that chore “under protest”.  But if you see someone involved in a task — whether it be menial or labor-intensive — with a smile on their face, you know that they are doing it willingly and joyfully.  The tasks gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Mother Teresa is right in stating that true holiness is doing God’s work with a smile.  We are all called to embrace God’s will and do God’s work.  But if we do that work grudgingly, how will we get others to consider doing the same?  If, on the other hand, we are all smiles while doing God’s work, we invite them into the mission as well.  And that, my friends, is holiness.

FAITH ACTION:  In all things today, try your best to be joyful in accepting what comes your way.