A Joyful Way

Post Date: May 27, 2022
Author: Laura Stephens

“She is always smiling” was the comment I was recently told by a parent of one of the wonderful children in the First Sacrament class I taught this past year. My love and joy of teaching shined so much that he had shared with his mom how I was always smiling. I was so touched to know that he felt it. It was a prayer answered for me that my love would not just teach to the children’s minds but also touch their hearts as well.  

There is quite often a smile on my face. Some days my facial muscles are even sore from being overused. I have asked myself why I smile so much. I see the good in people. I see Christ in them and want to let my love and light shine forth, and spontaneously, without thinking about it – a smile appears. I love to spread joy because God has filled me with such profound joy. A smile is an easy way to spread even just a little bit of joy to others in the world. 

The joy from the Lord gets me through those recently tough days filled with caring for three sick kiddos, canceled vacation plans, and missed end-of-the-year celebrations. Did I feel much like smiling this week? Not really!! But remembering the needs of others that I can help fulfill, the joy of serving those in need (even if only within my own house this week), I can’t help but smile even just a little. I know that I can share with them something so simple as a smile to help soothe their own sadness of a tough week that did not go as we had planned or hoped.

Yesterday (May 26), the Church honored the patron saint of joy and laughter – St. Phillip Neri. His story is so touching and deserves a full read for all he did through such charitable joy. Back in January, I planned to write about St. Philip Neri for his feast day. I did not know how much I would need his witness this week especially. I hope his story and witness help you find a little joy for yourself!

A key part of the story that I want you to reflect on is this part: 

At the age of twenty-nine…he was praying for an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in preparation for the feast of Pentecost…

“While he was with the greatest earnestness asking of the Holy Ghost His gifts, there appeared to him a globe of fire, which entered into his mouth and lodged in his breast; …he was suddenly surprised with such a fire of love…and putting his hand to his bosom, he felt by the side of his heart, a swelling about as big as a man’s fist, but neither then nor afterwards was it attended with the slightest pain or wound.”

After his death, when his body was examined, it was found that Philip’s heart had expanded so greatly with the love of God that two of his ribs had been broken and curved outwards. This mystical event was the defining moment of his life. From then on, Philip experienced strong heart palpitations “whenever he performed any spiritual action.”

After receiving this special grace of the Holy Spirit, Philip became inflamed with even greater love for God and neighbor. He devoted himself to a new and apostolic way of life committed to the salvation of souls. It was his fire of holy charity, combined with his ability to befriend others, that transformed Philip into “The Apostle of Rome.” (Patron Saint)

God literally expanded St Phillip’s heart to enable it to experience greater joy and love than man can normally handle. He used that gift from God to befriend everyone he could and keep them on the path to holiness. He was cheerful to all he met, and his personality was so affable that thousands renewed their love of the faith and became devoted to God again. St. Philip’s joy also included a major sense of humor. He would attract people with his jokes and “clowning around” while at the same time increasing his humility, making fun primarily of himself. He used humor and joy as tools for his evangelization to spread the joy of Christ.

“Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and helps us to persevere. A servant of God ought always to be in good spirits. Charity and cheerfulness, or charity and humility, should be our motto.” 

St. Philip Neri (Patron Saint)

Let his joy and laughter fill your heart and enable you to touch a world so broken, lonely, and hurting. Despite all or maybe even because of the suffering around the world, joy must be spread to combat the darkness of violence and sin. May your smile, kindness, humor, and love relight the fading ember of someone’s joy. 

It was during his preparation for the Feast of Pentecost that St Philip Neri received his tremendous gift from God to feel within his body the joy of spreading love. What does the Holy Spirit want to create anew in you this Pentecost? 

TODAY begin a Novena to the Holy Spirit. These links below will lead you through a short video reflection on each of the fruits of the Holy Spirit followed by prayers.  

Pentecost Novena Day 1 – Joy

Pentecost Novena Day 2 – Gentleness

Pentecost Novena Day 3 – Patience

Pentecost Novena Day 4 – Faithfulness

Pentecost Novena Day 5 – Love

Pentecost Novena Day 6 – Peace

Pentecost Novena Day 7 – Self Control

Pentecost Novena Day 8 – Goodness

Pentecost Novena Day 8 – Kindness

Rely on the Holy Spirit, like St. Philip Neri did, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to find a joyful way. 

St Philip Neri, pray for us!


Patron Saint quotes retrieved from https://www.goodcatholic.com/st-philip-neri-patron-saint-of-laughter-and-joy/

Author: Laura Stephens, FF Sacrament Preparation Catechist

Recent Posts

To Forgive or Not Forgive

To Forgive or Not Forgive

A Reflection on the Readings for the 24thSunday in Ordinary Time, September 17, 2023 First Reading: SIR 27:30—28:7 Responsorial Psalm: PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 Second Reading: ROM 14:7-9 Gospel: MT 18:21-35 Our gospel passage this week directly follows last...

Miracle of Life – Weeks 31st to 34th

Miracle of Life – Weeks 31st to 34th

Just as you do not know how the life breath enters the human frame in the mother’s womb, So you do not know the work of God, who is working in everything. - Ecclesiastes 11:5 Though we have spent weeks studying the intricate details of the weeks of pregnancy, there...

Monica’s Praise Report 8-23-23

Monica’s Praise Report 8-23-23

Praise be Jesus Christ!  Praise be His Holy name. May God be praised now and always, for He is God and wonderful is He and worthy to be praised. Thank You God for your providence. Thank You for your guidance and teachings. Thank You for your involvement in our lives....

Who do you say that I am?

Who do you say that I am?

He said to them, "but who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." -...

The Prayers God Always Answers

The Prayers God Always Answers

When I was a child, my mother bought a book called “The Prayers God Will Always Answer.” I remember my anticipation as I cracked the spine and turned to the first page. I had been spending a lot of time asking God — begging God, actually — over and over again for some...

The Choice of Stewardship

The Choice of Stewardship

What does it mean to be a good steward? Does it mean to be an active parishioner, or something more? Are we better stewards because we give more in terms of our money and time to our parish, or are we called to do even more than that? The truth is that stewardship is...

Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

August 27, 2023 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Isn’t it a bit weird that Catholics call the Pope “papa,” father? This Sunday provides us with essential Scriptural background on the papacy, the petrine office. Jesus gives Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven,” after...

God and the Good Strong Wind

God and the Good Strong Wind

My only real memory of the Mackinac Island ferry was the physical sensation of the wind against my face. I remember, distinctly, that it hurt. It surprised and confused me because wind had never felt painful before. Looking back now, I realize that it wasn’t just the...

Miracle of Life – Weeks 27th to 30th

Miracle of Life – Weeks 27th to 30th

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. - Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift. They turn young women and men into mothers and fathers. They push us to see life differently, to focus on what matters and to seek for the things eternal in a search...

He is Calling

He is Calling

A Reflection on the Gospel for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 13, 2023 Gospel: Mt 14:22-33 A man at my parish was struggling to overcome a habitual sin. He said to me, “Father, I know the chance that I will commit sin again is really high. Why should I keep...

Local Angels

(Our Sponsors)

For more information on how to showcase your business and sponsor this site, please send us an email.

Only 6 2 spots available, first come first served! One sponsor per industry.


View a calendar of upcoming events

Our History

Learn the history of our Parish

Clergy and Staff

Meet our clergy and staff members!

How to Become Catholic

Interested in becoming Catholic?

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Mass Times

Sunday 10 am

Weekend Mass Times

Saturday Vigil

5:00 pm | 7:00 pm SP


7:30 am | 10:00 am | 12:30 pm SP | 3:00 pm SP | 5:30 pm

Contact Info

109 North Frazier St.
Conroe, TX, 77301



Follow Us On

Join Our Newsletter!