4598Holy Rule for June 8
- Jun 7, 2014+PAXA blessed Pentecost to all, prayers that the Holy Spirit fill the world and the hearts and souls of all people with His gifts and grace and truth and love!Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
February 7, June 8, October 8
Chapter 7: On Humility
The tenth degree of humility
is that he be not ready and quick to laugh,
for it is written,
"The fool lifts up his voice in laughter" (Eccles. 21:23).
Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
not to laugh too fast! In another place, the Rule condemns "idle words"
which can "provoke buffoonery" (read immoderate laughter!) We are
not, however, forbidden to laugh at all. Life together will always produce
some truly comical stuff, and well-ordered appreciation of that gift of
humor is right in line with a good, balanced Benedictine life.
WHAT do we laugh at, and how? Do we find humor at others' expense cruelly?
Do we laugh in such a way as to make the person feel a fool, or in such a way
as to make her feel part of a shared family joke and joy? Do we laugh with
love and affection or with pompous derision? There are, make no mistake,
lots of good and bad ways to laugh.
There are, in every age, inappropriate uses of humor. Humor is often
a nervous cover-up, an avoidance, a substitute for real
communication. I think these examples are what the Holy Rule
addresses. We are called to relate to people on a more honest level
than perpetual joking about. That playfulness may be an antechamber
to intimacy, but it is no substitute. All loving friends share jokes,
but if jokes are ALL they share, that is sad. It takes something more than that
It is because humor, jokes and shared laughter can be that first step
towards intimacy that they are so very necessary for a cenobitic,
community-loving Benedictine heart. Then, of course, there is also
that Christian imperative to JOY!
Love and prayers,
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