It would seem that the temptation of our time is to fall into cynicism and despair. There is the overwhelming technological ability to send both propaganda and bad news into devices that follow us wherever we go. What would Mother Franziska say to us? I think she would smile and say “give joy”… Just recently I heard that an American Bishop, talking to the students at the North American College reminded them that it is very important to smile as they walk around Rome. In fairness, many of the religious you see in the Eternal City are there on business and have to hurry before the noon rest closes all the shops, or a strike disrupts their commute home. Tourists who see these representatives of the Church do not know of think of this. They only take away the impression that the Catholic Church and its “official” people are cheerless and tense. The new evangelization calls us to have a deep faith grounded in a personal relationship with Christ. Through this daily contact we are given a radiance that shines into the darkness like light through a window. Mother Franziska would tell us that the joy of the Lord is available to all but only requires time and exposure, according to possibilities, to Sacred Scripture, the Sacraments and good reading and media. We almost think that only bad news surrounds us but if we take the time we see everywhere goodness, truth, beauty and love. These are the things we must concentrate on … Our world is thirsting for light and truth and our Church challenges us to be the apostles of good in our own time and environment. Mother Franziska would be our biggest cheerleader in this project and will always counter our tendencies to feeling helpless with her own strength and enthusiasm. She would remind us that it is November, the month of all Saints and all Souls, those who have gone before and still care about us. She had a favorite Saint for every occasion, adapting her request to the experience and life story of the saint. We are not alone. There is loving help everywhere.