A Cheerful Heart

St. Theodora enjoyed all of God’s creations – the people and wildlife around her. She took her troubles in stride and found humor in the little things of daily life. Her diaries are sprinkled with evidence of her sense of humor and lightheartedness. She once joked that she and Sister Francis were so feeble that together they didn’t amount to two cents. It’s the way it was, and there was no reason to fret over it.

Sometimes the oddest things strike us as funny, like tripping over our own feet. If we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we can follow St. Theodora’s example and enjoy the moment and not get stuck in a disagreeable mood.

Tough times are easier to get through when we maintain a sense of humor. Proverbs says, “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones” (17:22) and “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken” (15:13).

In a homily many years ago, Father Max Lasrado said when he was a child in India his mother told him to thank God for everything and find the joy in it, even the hard tasks. In some way, everything is a gift from God. There is a lesson to be learned or a future outcome that benefits us from that particular situation.

Some periods of time are definitely tougher to get through than others, but as St. Theodora often reminded her sisters, “Trust in Providence.”   As Scripture says, there is a time for everything, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). We will get through it, and better days are ahead.

In addition, in the midst of the most difficult times, God’s blessings surround us. One person may be making our life harder than need be but we must look beyond him or her and at all the other positive people and things. No doubt, this life is filled with challenges and disappointments. The advantage for Christians is that we know we don’t go through anything alone. The Lord always is present and loving us.

Repeatedly the Bible tells us not to worry. If we truly believe the Lord has our back, worry wouldn’t enter our psyche. The only thing to worry about for any of us who are conscious of our mortality, and the eternity we will spend in the afterlife, would be our salvation.

But we know God has us covered. Jesus took care of this for us. So there really is absolutely nothing to worry about. We can relax and be happy in the day the Lord has made.

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation (Habukkuk 3:18).

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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