If being cheerful is not your natural disposition, here is a prayer for you!
While joy comes naturally to some people, for others, it is difficult to maintain a cheerful disposition on a daily basis. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but when viewed in the light of the Gospel, we are challenged to reflect the love we receive from God to others.
This was evident in the lives of many saints, whose love radiated in their joyful smiles, even if they had hidden spiritual struggles. St. Teresa of Calcutta is one example.
Pope Francis has similarly stressed this idea, writing in his apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate, “Far from being timid, morose, acerbic or melancholy, or putting on a dreary face, the saints are joyful and full of good humor. Though completely realistic, they radiate a positive and hopeful spirit.”
Here is a prayer adapted from the Family Prayer Book that asks God for help us be more joyful and reflect his love to those we encounter on a daily basis.
Remove, dear Jesus, from my heart, remove forever from me all gloominess and ill-will. Make me cheerful, glad, and happy in the enjoyment of your grace. For, O God, if you will bestow your grace upon me, ought I not to be cheerful and gladsome? Ought I not to show that your Holy Spirit exerts some influence on my soul?—that it raises it above those petty daily annoyances but which ought never to break the calm of those who aspire to be your servants? O may peace, patience, mildness, and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit be mine: may they direct and assuage my heart, and raise its aspirations far above this world to you, my God, who are my origin and my last hope. Amen.