Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Smiling Archbishop of New York

Yesterday's front page of the New York Daily News quoted Archbishop Timothy Dolan, stating in bold print and large letters, I'm going to be happy! And I watched the entire installation Mass on TV and he lived up to his promise. During the procession he waved, smiled and greeted the priests, bishops and cardinals in the procession as they walked by him. He was happy, smiling and congenial as he processed into St. Patrick's Cathedral and throughout the Mass, when appropriate. How refreshing, how wonderful! Today's New York Times (April 16th) has a front page photograph of Archbishop Dolan sitting in the sanctuary of St. Patrick's, surrounded by Cardinals and Bishops and he stands out in the picture, because his face is lit up with a big smile.  The positive news coverage that Archbishop Dolan has received for smiling is pretty amazing....everyone mentions it. So may I suggest everyone starts smiling more.  Why don't we imitate Archbishop Dolan's happy disposition? It seems to be getting positive results. It is the Easter Season, we are a redeemed people, beloved by God, we do have a lot to smile about. As Thomas Merton said, There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
I think Archbishop Dolan is onto something. He's acting like a confident, joyful child of God, redeemed by God, gifted and anointed by God, with God's abundant favor. Shouldn't we all be acting like that? Shouldn't we all be smiling too?