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June 8

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  • russophile2002
    +PAX Sorry this is so late today! But a blessed Pentecost to all! JL February 7, June 8, October 8 Chapter 7: On Humility The tenth degree of humility is that
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2003
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      +PAX

      Sorry this is so late today! But a blessed Pentecost to all! 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).

      REFLECTION

      Note that the Holy Rule does NOT say not to laugh at all, but just
      not to laugh too fast!Ever know someone who laughs too fast, too
      often, and at things that no one else finds funny? Sometimes we laugh
      along, in kindness and charity, just to keep such a one from feeling
      as foolish as they well might. Pejoratively, we might say such people
      were jerks, but honestly, what we really feel is that they lack depth
      or maturity or both.

      Christians, all Christians, even Benedictines, are commanded to
      rejoice. There is a Christian imperative to joy, even in the midst of
      the sufferings promised us in this life. Picture joy without one
      single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My! What
      a tasteful, discreet and bloodless little party animal that would be!
      What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
      total lie!

      I have never known a Benedictine so bad as to never laugh at all, and
      I have known more than a few who seemed to be, to all appearances,
      dreadful enough. Granted, some of the holiest ones chuckled softly a
      good deal more than they roared in laughter, but ALL of them laughed!
      Even those holiest ones, who tended to occasionally just chuckle,
      smiled a LOT and warmly!

      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, they are, as yet, neither truly
      loving nor friends. It takes something more than that humor alone.

      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,
      Jerome, OSB
      jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA
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