I’d like to think I always followed the advice of my seminary formators. But there is some advice that one consciously cultivates.

My primary formator told me once I should smile more. I wasn’t especially unhappy, but it seems I looked it. Smiling, he said, would not only remedy that, but go a long way in the priestly ministry.

So smile more I did. And do. Parishioners occasionally comment that it’s nice to see me smiling so much.

After viewing this video, I’ll redouble my efforts. I tuned in on the following recommendation:

For about a year now, inspired by this particular presentation, I have been smiling up a storm, initiating smiles with others before and after Mass, with strangers as I walk down the street, with other parents at sporting events, at Jesus in the tabernacle or during adoration, with family members, when I hear something interesting on the radio, or even at characters who smile on televisions shows. I am smiling right now.

I have experienced that sharing a smile with anyone, especially a stranger, has a wonderful effect of filtering away superficial characteristics. When I receive a reciprocal smile from another person, he or she ceases to be old or young, rich or poor, well or poorly dressed, this race or that, heavy or thin, and handsome or pretty. Each becomes simply another human being sharing a pure goodness.

My own experience confirms that. It seems my formator isn’t just an expert in Ancient Hebrew and the Old Testament. (Alone no mean feat.) He also has a lot of science on his side!