Smile, laugh, have fun PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 June 2015 16:12

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

As long as all these are properly grounded and oriented, there’s nothing at all to worry. Smiling, laughing and having fun would do us no harm, and in fact would be and would do good to all. The world would be a much better place to live, work and face our usual as well as our unusual concerns.

If we manage to smile, to laugh and maintain a good sense of humor, in spite of whatever and all because of love of God and of others, then it can only mean we are healthy not only bodily but also spiritually.

We need to cultivate this art of smiling and laughing especially these days when we see a lot of harassed faces. It’s indeed ironic that even as we seem to progress because we now enjoy a lot of technological facilities and many advancements and developments in other areas, the number of distorted and contorted face has also increased.

The Holy Father has talked about this phenomenon sometime ago. He made reference to people with funeral faces. This should not be the case, since if we truly go by our faith, there’s indeed no reason to feel sad, let alone, show it physically.

Everything has already been taken care of by Christ. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace,” he reassured us. “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16,33)

It’s important that we know the ultimate source of our peace and serenity, our sense of confidence and hope that would enable us to be cheerful at all times no matter what. It’s in Christ.

In other words, the art of smiling and laughing would depend on how truly and vitally united we are with Christ. It’s not merely a matter of luck, of some advantages we happen to have in life in terms of health, wealth, social position, talents and other endowments.

It’s when we truly encounter Christ who actually comes to us and who never abandons us, and overcome our initial fear in meeting him, and follow him as closely as possible, when we would be filled with indescribable joy that would simply overflow.

Let’s remember that the apostles themselves were driven to great fear when they met Christ in some unusual occasions, as when Christ walked on the water. But when they were reassured it was Christ, they immediately became very happy.

Obviously, this joy will come when we know how to live in the presence of God, how to pray and refer things always to him, never feeling alone to face the vagaries of life. It comes and develops when we have an intimate relation with him, with his teachings, with his will at every moment.

It comes and develops when we, like Christ, would overcome the fear of the cross, of any problem we can have in life, when we know how to react to anything in a supernatural way, with faith, hope and charity, much like how Christ behaved when his time to suffer and die came.

It should be a constant intention in our prayer that we grow in identification with Christ, and then start to make adjustments in our attitudes and ways of seeing and doing things, to let the forces of faith, hope and charity to irrigate our thoughts, desires, plans, words, and general behaviour.

Yes, we can avail of some finishing-school type of developing cheerfulness and sense of humor, like learning how to crack jokes, to make fun of oneself, to act like a comedian or jester for the others, but only as a consequence of an authentic relationship with Christ or at the instance of faith, hope and charity.

I believe that this concern for learning how to smile,laugh and have fun is a real and urgent one that needs general attention. It might be a good idea if we can devise a way of monitoring the level of authentic joy and cheerfulness in the different levels of society.

Things should start with oneself, then with the family and the neighbourhood. Schools and other forms of community life should be marked by a healthy brand of cheerfulness.

Yes, we have to practice to smile and laugh and have clean fun. Parents should plan things so that everyone at home smiles and has a good time, in spite of whatever problems there may be. Let’s remember education starts at home, before it is sustained in the schools.  Might be good to collect jokes and nice, edifying anecdotes for this purpose.