5 Ways to Cultivate a Heart of Joy

Written by Ann Burns

May 23, 2023

When the Villains are Beautiful

The key to a happy life is the simplicity of the soul. 

So it’s time to eradicate our self importance.

 One of the greatest ways of doing that is through laughing. 

And laughing a lot. 

Chesterton reminds us that “angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” 

Step 1: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

At the end of the day, the most important thing is what God thinks of us and whether or not we are glorifying Him.  

We glorify Him by being faithful to our vocation, duties of life, pursuing virtue, and growing in love. Instead of trying to live by the always-changing standards of the world, we cling to God.  

Pleasing God rather than being a people pleaser is insanely freeing.  But it might take a lot of uprooting of old habits, poor boundaries, and even priorities. 

But when we start asking ourselves “what is this in light of eternity” we start to get fruitful answers.  Which means we can start to put aside many fruitless worries. 

Learning to laugh at our mishaps, seeing the comical in our endeavors, frees us from the wrong kind of shame: shame that is found is self importances.  We become receptive and lighthearted.  

It’s not easy. 

But it’s worth it.  

The first and most important step is to recognize our littleness. It’s to acknowledge that we are not actually enough because we constantly need God. 

We’re like a child learning to walk; we will stumble over and over again. Anger and despair will not teach us how to progress, but will only keep us from growth. 

As we pick ourselves back up, instead of turning to self-pity, we can smile and call to Christ in joy, “see how much I need You!” 

Step 2: Pray Before the Hard Tasks 

We all have chores or obligations that are less than fun.  But those responsibilities possess a dignity all of their own.  We can choose to seek that out, rather than procrastinate.  

But it might still be hard to recognize the goodness of our responsibilities.  This is where prayer comes in. 

It may be a simple, “Blessed Jesus, I fold the laundry for love of You.” 

Offering up the seemingly laborious chores to Our Lord, turn the most mundane “to-dos” into precious love notes deepening our relationship with Christ. 

Steps 3 +4: Break up with Gossip and Rejoice in Those Around You

Gossip corrodes the soul.  The more you gossip the more you bring yourself down, muddy your interior life, and injure those around you.  

Instead of scrutinizing the individuals around you, choose to celebrate them and their successes.  

If we are feeling slighted by someone’s happiness, we reveal our own limiting outlook and doubt in God’s abundance.  

“She is my sister; she is God’s daughter.”

Yes. You can ditch the opponent mindset, and instead, pursue God’s abundant glory.  It is there you will find charity and peace.

Step 5: Laugh.  Laugh a lot. 

Life is full of humorous moments.  Recognize these instances for the gift that they are. 

The GOOD is tremendously greater than all the bad. 

There is so much to smile about. 

“Try to laugh a lot, because life is funny and everybody today is too serious. The only tragedy in the world, my friend, is sin.”

– Mother Angelica


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