As part of the modern sanctity series, I've been discussing the life of Venerable Teresita Quevedo. This week, I want to take a look at her joy. Many people around Teresita witnessed a joy that bubbled from deep within her being. She had a deep love for God and others, and this love spilled over in her daily life. A way that we can practically look at her path to joy and holiness is by way of her Code of Amiability.
The Code of Amiability
Under an image of the Madonna and Child that Teresita owned, she had written the words “Code of Amiability.” Under this title, Teresita wrote: “The virtue of amiability results from the fusion of several strong virtues. It is the ‘all things to all men’ that grows out of charity; the knowledge of self that humility teaches; the pure detachment found in mortification; the meekness born of patience; and the undaunted courage won of perseverance.
The “10 Commandments” of Amiability, as Teresita wrote them, follow:
To smile until a kindly smile forms readily on one’s lips
To repress a sign of impatience at the very start
To add a word of benevolence when giving orders
To reply positively when asked to do a favor
To lend a helping hand to the unfortunate
To please those toward whom one feels repugnance
To study and satisfy the tastes of those with whom one lives.
To respect everyone
To avoid complaining
To correct, if one must, with kindness.
This “code” may seem simply put, but it’s asking a lot of us. “To smile until a kindly smile forms readily on one’s lips”? What if you don’t feel like smiling? “To avoid complaining”? What if you feel like complaining? Herein lies the sacrificial nature of the Code of Amiability. If you really don’t feel like smiling at another, it is a sacrifice of love to smile at another with the love and joy of God. If you restrain yourself from complaining, it’s a sacrifice of love for the glory of God. Yes, this list may look daunting and idealistic. But God calls us to holiness and perfection, so why not try? We can take baby steps; we can work on one thing at a time, doing the smallest of sacrifices to live wholly for God.