Holy Rule for Oct. 8
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Jual, for whom we have prayed, and for all her family and all who mourn her.
Prayesr for Sean and his Dad, his Dad has melanoma and it has spread to one lymph node. Serious condition, but hopefully beatable.
Prayers for Br. Adrian, on his feastday, garces galore and many more.
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.
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 with never one
single moment of throw-your-head-back-in-glorious-laughter. My!
What a prim, prudish and bloodless little party animal that would be!
What a great, lifeless remove from the abandon of genuine joy, what a
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,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Matt and Bettie are celebrating 22 years of marriage, not 201 as they awful typo reads. I thought it was 21 years, but Matt kindly corrected my mistake.