The Cheerful Have A Feast Every Day
Remember when the funniest jokes were the
clean ones? They still are! Let us start
with a philosopher. Diogenes lived 300 hundred
years before Christ. When Alexander the Great
visited Corinth, he went to visit him, and
found him lying down enjoying the sun. Alexander
asked if there was anything that he could
do for him, and Diogenes answered, "Yes,
stand out of my sun." Alexander's courtiers
began mocking Diogenes, but Alexander said,
"If I were not Alexander, I should wish
to be Diogenes."
By flattery, the Cyrene philosopher Aristippus
had won himself a place at the court of Dionysus,
tyrant of Syracuse. One day, observing Diogenes
preparing some lentils for a meal, Aristippus
said, "If you would only learn to compliment
Dionysus, you wouldn't have to live on lentils."
"And if you would only learn to live
on lentils, you wouldn't have to flatter
Dionysus", retorted Diogenes.
One day at Plato's Academy, the students
were trying to come up with a definition
of man. They finally agreed on "a featherless
two-legged animal". Diogenes plucked
a chicken and threw it over the wall of the
Let us now pass to monks. There is a story
about a monastery in Europe perched high
on a cliff several hundred feet in the air.
The only way to reach the monastery was to
be suspended in a basket that was pulled
to the top by several monks who pulled and
tugged with all their strength. Obviously
the ride up the steep cliff in that basket
One tourist got exceedingly nervous about
halfway up as he noticed that the rope by
which he was suspended was old and frayed.
With a trembling voice he asked the monk
who was riding with him in the basket how
often they changed the rope.
The monk thought for a moment and answered
tersely, "Whenever it breaks."
And finally one on married couples. When
all people on earth were dead and waiting
to enter paradise, God appeared and said,
"I want the men to make two lines. One
line for the men who were true heads of their
household and the other line for the men
who were controlled by their women. On the
other hand, I want all the women to report
to St. Peter."
Rapidly, the women were gone and there were
two lines of men. The line of the men who
were dominated by their wives was one thousand
miles long, and in the line of men who truly
were heads of their household, there was
only one man.
God said, "You men should be ashamed
of yourselves. I created you to be the head
of your household. You have been disobedient
and not fulfilled your purpose. I told you
to be the spiritual leader in your family.
Of all of you only one obeyed. Learn from
him. Tell them, my son, how did you manage
to be the only one in this line?"
The man replied, "I don't know, my wife
told me to stand here."
The poet Sean O'Casey wrote, "Laughter
is wine for the soul-laughter soft, or loud
and deep, tinged through with seriousness….
the hilarious declaration made by man that
life is worth living."
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
state, if this copyright notice is