This is a tangible goal. It doesn't seem too far out of my reach. I can work toward this. I think I need to start by overcoming my morning grumpiness but, if I work at it, that simple goal just might become my path to sanctity.
What is cheerfulness? I think it's twofold. I think it's a habit that begins in the small things, like overcoming moodiness and cynicism and ingratitude in my life. It's about seeing the good in difficult personalities and unfortunate circumstances - the silver lining, we might say. It's about consciously moving my thoughts away from fault-finding and gossip.
And it's not even so much about me. Christian cheerfulness begins with my own heart, but then overflows in the desire to find simple, non-threatening ways to help others see God in the difficulties as well.
There's nothing in this life that Christ hasn't already overcome. I'm still battling with my need for coffee in order to be nice, but the saint radiates joy. And it's not a feeling dictated by circumstances and moods. The saint knows the truth. God wins, and there's nothing anyone can do to take the gift of his love away. That's good news!
St. Maximillian Kolbe astonished the Nazi guards in Auschwitz. They couldn't understand how someone could be so...cheerful in the midst of such suffering. But St. Maximillian Kolbe knew the end of the story. God wins. He's now crowned in glory. And the family of the man he traded places with in the starvation chamber: they're forever changed by the love of Christ. True cheerfulness is the lived love of Christ in any situation. Let us pray for this gift in the midst of our own trials, that we too might point others to the source of unending joy.