My Faith/Teen Faith/Why Do Catholics Why Catholics Have so Many Reasons to Smile by Dillon Duke This article begins, like most of my fondest memories at Camp Hidden Lake. It was an already long day with the usual early morning holy hour for missionaries, which was followed up by a hike up a mountain for Mass. I was about to spend the next 3 hours lifting and taking out canoes from the lake under the hot summer sun which, for someone like myself who isn’t built like Johnny Bravo, was going to be brutal. via GIPHY As I mentally prepared for the madness that was about go down, one of my fellow missionaries said to me,“I feel like you’re always smiling”. Even though I was about to be wrecked by this upcoming work, I still had a smile on face. People have pointed out that even through stressful situations, I’m smiling throughout whatever is going down during a day. Sure, part of this is because I find joy in such silly, random things, but the underlying reason why I’m always smiling is because of my faith. As cheesy as it sounds, the Catholic faith has so many substantial reasons to be overjoyed. Here are just a few of the reasons that first come to mind… The First Reason To Smile! The God of the Universe created you. Let that settle for a second. God, the source of everything, the essence of existence, decided freely to create you. He had wanted to create YOU. Why? So He could love you. You weren’t made to simply exist; you were made to be fully happy because you are loved unconditionally by Him. This isn’t like someone you’re dating who wants you to be happy; this is the most perfect love we can imagine and it’s offered to us by the most perfect being. We’re relentlessly pursued by Him because he wants us to find joy in Him. Isn’t that incredible? The Best Clique you can be in via GIPHY There are sometimes when it feels impossible to live a holy life. When times get tough, not only do we have our community to lean on but we have the saints. This group of people were sinners just like we are now and have been through the same things that we have. Not only can we study their lives and see how they’ve overcome their struggles, but they can intercede for us on God’s behalf. we can’t seem to When we pray to the saints to intercede for us, the best friends we can imagine are coming in to help us. “Sins? You’re still awesome!!” -God (rough translation) via GIPHY I hear a lot of people complain about Confession and how awkward it is telling a priest your sins. Except, you’re not. Jesus is working through these brave men and by simply telling Him your sins and being sorry for them, all of it is washed away. Here’s the kicker; it is a gift that we can receive whenever we want! Confession is the perfect gift that we receive not one time, but anytime that we wish to rest in His mercy. It is too good for us to deserve, but it is true. Eucharist: The Goodness on the top Shelf via GIPHY Our God loves us more than we could ever imagine. So much so that instead of making us reach Heaven, He brings Himself to us here on Earth in the form of the Eucharist. In an effort to keep it simple, I’ll put it this way: God, who is the most powerful Being in all of the Universe, makes Himself present to us in bread and wine on Earth so that way he can be within us. An analogy I like to use is the cookie on the top shelf. We’re all children of God that seek to reach Heaven and the goodness He offers to us (the cookie). So, our beloved Father brings heaven down to us through the Eucharist because he’s the only one who can reach that high (Dad gets a cookie from the top for us to enjoy). Simple? Sure. But that’s what our joy can be like if we simply accept that God has ready for us. It’s wild to think that anybody can love us that much to go out of their way to love us but when that “anybody” is God, it’s incredibly crazy. Turn that Frown Upside Down via GIPHY These are just a few reasons that there really is no such thing as a true Catholic that’s sad. The Catholic faith is full of so many beautiful, fulfilling aspects that will bring an insurmountable amount of joy that we can rely on every day to be there for us. In a culture where so many of the things people find happiness in are temporary at best, God offers true, lasting joy in countless ways. With God, there is no such thing as a bad day because there’s an abundance of glorious things to be happy about.