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medium_8404575209“Only if our witness is joyful will we attract men and women to Christ.”

That was the message Pope Francis shared with religious brothers & sisters in South Korea over the weekend.

I think it relates to us all, though… and it’s a reminder that can be somewhat hard to hear.

Life is hard.

And in the midst of our struggles & weaknesses, sometimes, it can be especially hard to be joyful.

But as Pope Francis said, we can only bring more people closer to God through joy — through love.

This actually reminds me of something Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

What’s so incredible about what Mother Teresa said is that she suffered a lot. 

So how do you cultivate joy – even if you do suffer?

Pope Francis tells us it is a gift, “which is nourished by a life of prayer, meditation on the word of God, the celebration of the sacraments and life in community.”

Read more about Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea here.

photo credit: minhee.cho