Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Second close-up of picturePeople are still asking me what I think about Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. It’s hard to encapsulate all of my experience in Washington, DC, into one sentence or conversation – I know I’ll be writing more here and elsewhere long after September’s events begin to fade. But, one thing strikes me as I settle back into “everyday” life, and especially into conversations with loved ones and activities at church.

Pope Francis demonstrated the essence of joy: Joy smiles!

So often, whether in readings at church, homilies, or faith conversations, when joy and its associated emotions are mentioned, the person speaking/reading/singing/or listening doesn’t crack a smile! Or, I’ve witnessed cashiers, receptionists, delivery people, doctors, and others who wish “have a nice day” without smiling or making eye contact.

In observing Pope Francis’ visit, and in seeing him up close during the Mass of Canonization, I saw the example for real joy expressed and acted on: Joy smiles!

If we, too, are filled with the joy of the Gospel (which, after all, means “Good News”) and if we desire to connect our joy with others’, to share that joy, then why do we hesitate to do the one action that conveys that joy like no other?

Why not smile?