My sweet baby is now five months old. She is constantly melting hearts with her interactive smile! One evening at mass, I had her standing on my lap and looking over my shoulder. She couldn’t help but squeal and smile at everyone who entered the church! Multiple people approached us after mass to formally say hi to the baby who greeted them so enthusiastically.
This past Sunday, it took me halfway through the mass to realize that the people sitting behind us probably did not get much out of the priest’s homily. My daughter was busy smiling and talking to them as she, once again, looked over my shoulder.
In her book, ‘This Present Paradise,’ author Clair Dwyer wrote, “A smile communicates God to others and reflects back to them something of their own innate goodness.”
There is something so genuine about a baby’s smile. They do not have the cognitive ability to judge someone based on their appearance, race, social status, or sexual orientation. They will smile and acknowledge whoever it is before them without judgment. It is a reflection of the God-given beauty found within each person.
We live in a controversial world that is full of conflict and division. Saint Theresa of Calcutta was known for her compassion and love for humanity. Instead of avoiding the poor and less fortunate populations, she dove into missionary work with a smile on her face! She said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
Throughout her years of ministry, St. Theresa of Calcutta experienced interior darkness. She went years and years without feeling the movements of the Lord within her heart and soul. Even though St. Theresa lived in a perpetual state of desolation, she was determined to serve the people and allow them to experience the movements of God. Her internal darkness did not hinder her smile and the people she was serving never once knew of her interior struggle.
St. Theresa generously served each person from a place of love. It was her mission to replace their interior identity of poverty with dignity. She greeted the world with a smile! Her smile, similar to a baby, was given judgment free. In doing so, she reflected the truth that each person is created in the image and likeness of God. Isn’t it beautiful that a simple smile can have a supernatural impact on the world around us?
“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for a smile is the beginning of love.” -Mother Theresa
Until next time, your sister in Christ,