On 19th August 2015, the Church lost a champion of ‘Religious Harmony’ Rev. Fr. Ronie Prabhu, the priest who touched the hearts of people with a ‘smile’, a moral booster, a great motivator, superb orator, a noble human being with a charming smile who has charmed everyone and was nominated for IIPP Award for ‘Outstanding Leaders of Mangalore’ went to his eternal reward. Anyone who knew him or met him would definitely carry in his or her heart the ‘heart prints’ of a happy and joyful religious. As the news flashed in the ‘WhatsApp’ and the www.daijiworld.com so many, irrespective of caste or creed responded to say that he had touched their lives with a beaming smile on his face, a sign of true contentment and happiness. He has indeed preached without preaching with his radiant smile and has left behind ‘Joy Prints’ in many a heart.

In the book ‘Hearts on Fire’ Joji Valli narrates a story of a Zen master who was known as ‘master of joy’. He was getting very old but was always happy and cheerful – like a small child overflowing with joy. Many people from faraway places came to have his dharshan. They were celebrating his 99th birthday, and may be this was going to be his last, so all his disciples had come from faraway places. They asked him “Reverent master, we have only one question – and soon you may leave us. Before you leave, please answer our query: What is the secret of your joy? We have never seen you sad.” The old man laughed and said, “There is nothing secret in it. Early in my life I discovered that it is up to me to be sad or to be joyful, so every morning when I wake up, the first thing I ask myself is: What do you want today? – To be sad or joyful? And I always decide to be joyful and happy! That is my simple secret.”

The ‘Hindu’ carried a very interesting article today with the heading ‘Doctor heals Hyderabad roads’ . Gangadhar Tilak Katnam, a former Government employee in his mid sixties uses his pension for a purpose, carries in his car tar-mixed gravel, a crowbar, spade and broomsticks and stops at every pothole he sees on the city roads and fills it up even as people watch him curiously and puzzled. A website ‘Pakistan Defence Forum’ linked him with Gandhiji’s words ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. Mr. Tilak is definitely a ‘joy giver’, one who walks his talk.

A few days ago I saw a clipping that showed a young boy of 21 celebrating his birthday not with a bash party but by ‘thanking a postman for his service, meeting a street cleaner and thanking him for his service etc ..21 novel ways of making others happy on his 21st birthday.
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. A warm smile is the universal knowledge of kindness. Smile is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart. So let’s smile a little more for it’s the best medicine for many ills.

In June 2015 while returning from a mini picnic arranged for GAC members, our bus stopped at the signal for 2 minutes. I could watch a Muslim family with the two kids behind and the husband and wife in the front seat. I tried to smile at the kids. One easily smiled and other took time but the gentleman smiled and made his wife to look at me and smile. I may never meet this family again, however just with a smile we passed on ‘happiness’ and I am sure this scene will not be forgotten by me. For happiness or joy to pass on, you do not need hours but just seconds to make a difference!

Peace begins with a smile. Smile, it’s a free therapy for you and for the rest. In life everyone wants to be joyful and happy. If there was a capsule available in the market which makes one joyful, that would have been sold out like hot cakes. Joy enters into life through the door of contentment. With contentment whatsoever we do becomes joyful. Comparison, lack of self worth etc leads to sadness and gloom. No external comfort can bring us joy, which springs from the heart.

St. Augustine says, “In praising God I find joy”. The secret of joy or happiness is a choice and a decision. Its key is, to reach out, walk an extra mile, to add a tinch of humour, walk the talk, ‘be the change’ and have the positive attitude, creative mind of doing small things that can bring a smile to someone’s face. For happiness and joy is the feeling of the heart and the sweetness of the soul!! May Jesus gift us with a ‘smile’ which is the best sermon!


Sister Rose Agnes A.C.(1857)
Provincial House, St. Ann’s Convent

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