REFLECTION: Daily heroic cheerfulness PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 November 2014 11:31

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

Christian life is a happy life. In spite of its tremendous share of suffering, pain and self-denial, it is a joyful life that knows precisely how to tackle these humanly unpleasant events and convert them, in fact, into the very reason for cheerfulness.

The joy deriving simply from our physical well-being and other merely human reasons has no way to handle the unavoidable disappointments and other forms of failure and defeat that we can have in life.

Christian joy has deeper roots and can weather not only the test of time, but also the test of any difficulty and challenge.

It can cover the whole range of human situations and is oriented toward an infinite end.

We need to do everything to cultivate this Christian cheerfulness, making use first of all of the ordinary daily events to craft it, and to reinforce, purify and renew it. We don’t have to wait for some extraordinary events to occasion the development of this integral aspect of Christian life.

That’s why we need to be aware of the need to be happy in any situation we can be in, and especially in those that tend to remove joy from us. For this, we have to be ready with our theological reasoning, and train our mind, heart, senses and everything else of our humanity to conform to the truth and reality presented to us by our faith.

We should strive to attain good theological grounding, so that our perceptions of things would not simply be influenced by the merely sensible and rational. The faith gives us a complete picture, and developing a theological mind is something doable. It is not a rocket science.

It’s a discipline that is all worthwhile pursuing. We should not go on with our life at the mercy of our bodily conditions alone, or of merely human and external conditions, like the weather natural, social, environmental, political, etc.

We have to strengthen our conviction that we are all children of God who loves us to such madness that he is willing to assume all our suffering and disappointment with us and turn them into another occasion for a resurrection.

We have to overcome whatever natural awkwardness, not to mention, the sin-caused resistance we have to correspond more and more fully to this supernatural and mysterious truth of our faith.

We may have to start with some bumbling baby steps in this regard, but if we persist and if we continue to rely on the ever abundantly available grace of God, we can manage to enter into this reality presented by our faith, where joy is reassured.

Obviously, we need to learn to feel at home with the usual effort and sacrifice involved in this pursuit. All this load of awkwardness, effort and sacrifice can be mitigated if we simply use our common sense also.

There’s always wisdom, for example, in developing the habit of collecting jokes, nice anecdotes and other points of interest to spice up our daily routine. These can make a big difference.

We have to train ourselves to smile more and more, to learn the art of positive thinking, a good sense of humor, and to be more resistant to unpleasant developments and surprises. Very often, the whole business of sanctification and heroism can be played out in pursuing these little details to be cheerful.

We should familiarize ourselves with our physical, emotional and psychological dynamics and identify areas where we are weak and vulnerable, so as to be ready for them. We cannot deny that we are heavily conditioned by these factors in our life. We have to learn how to manage them.

We have to learn how to handle pressures, disappointments and tiredness. And, yes, failures which can rob us of our joy and peace. There’s always a positive side to our failings, losses, defeats, setbacks.

As much as possible, we should avoid falling into some dark moods and brooding. In this, we have to be careful when we pray, because very often many people find themselves falling into moods and brooding when they try to meditate.

Prayer, when not prepared and done well, can occasion moodiness and brooding. Let’s be convinced that if our prayer does not boost our cheerfulness, then there’s something wrong with our prayer, or with the way we do our prayers.

One sure effect of a good prayer is definitely joy and peace. That’s simply because when we truly pray, we would not fail to have a supernatural outlook and to live our life according to God’s plans.

Let’s be cheerful everyday!