We live in a society that thrives on XXX,
a symbol identifier for pornography. We should
create a Church that counteracts with an
HHH, a symbol identifier for Christianity
- Humor, Humility and Holiness! Genuine humor
is based on humility and leads to holiness!
Laughter abounds in the Scripture. When one-hundred
year old Abraham learned that he is about
to become a father, he "threw himself
on his face and laughed, as he said to himself,
Can a child be born to a man a hundred years
old, shall Sarah bear a child at ninety?"
When Sarah delivered her 'impossible' baby,
her first reaction was again laughter. "God
has brought laughter for me; everyone who
hears will laugh with me." The name
itself they gave to their baby Yitshaq (Hebrew
for Isaac) means 'laughter'.
These are the first laughs in the Bible,
but not the last by any means. He chose Moses,
a stutterer, to lead his chosen people. He
asked Gideon to go up against ten thousand
armed fighters with just three hundred soldiers
carrying clay pots, torches and horns! He
ordained that the Savior of the world should
be born in a stable to a poor woman who was
And what about Jesus? Did he ever laugh?
Of course he did! If God created humans with
a sense of humor, then Jesus must have laughed.
He was fully human!
We know he loved children, who laugh easily.
We know he went to wedding feasts. We know
that he had a personality that people found
magnetic. Sometimes he used hyperbolic language,
claiming that "it is easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle than for
a rich man to enter the kingdom of God".
When he made fun of the Pharisees because
they "strain out a gnat but swallow
a camel", his listeners must have chuckled
The saints also laughed. Francis of
was adamant with his brothers "not
appear sad and gloomy, like hypocrites,
joyful in the Lord, cheerful and friendly
as is fitting". The Jesuit founder,
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, insisted
brothers that "Out of gratitude
love for Him, we should desire to be
fools. Laugh and grow strong."
one day one of his novices who was
Ignatius said to him: "My son,
you to laugh; I want you to be happy
Lord; a religious has no reason to
and he has many reasons to be cheerful."
The Carmelites have a foundress, Teresa of
Jesus, who was a racket in laughter. When
the self appointed artist, Fray Juan de Miserias
(what a name to carry - Brother John of the
Misery!!) undertook to draw the portrait
of the saint when she was 60, he was in for
a very ironic remark from the Saint. No sooner
was she admitted to view this completed masterpiece
than she exclaimed: "God forgive you,
Brother John; after making me go through
no one knows what, you have turned me out
ugly and blear eyed!" This is the stuff
saints are made of!
Born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1668, Saint
was assigned to do the most menial
when he joined the Capuchins. In this
he called himself the "little
of burden of the Capuchins." As
about his chores without a hat, a passerby
asked why he went bare headed, to which
replied chuckling, "An ass does
need a hat"! Humor serves to destabilize
our pompous ego. It cuts us down to
Saint Philip Neri was the most eccentric
of all Western saints. He hid his ascetic
private life by pranks. There are stories
of him wearing ridiculous clothes or
around with half his beard shaved off!
some people came from Poland to see
saint, they found him listening to
priest read to him from joke books.
The characteristic of the great saints
their power of levity. "Angels
because they can take themselves lightly",
writes G.K. Chesterton. "But the
in their heavy gold and the proud in
robes of purple will sink downwards,
pride cannot rise to levity. Seriousness
is not a virtue. For solemnity flows
of men naturally; but laughter is a
It is easy to be heavy, hard to be
Satan fell by the force of gravity."
The illiterate, asthmatic fourteen-year-old
peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous was
to be the girl who saw Our Lady at
France, in 1858. When one of the sisters
brought up the topic of the apparitions,
Bernadette rhetorically asked her what
did with a broom when she was finished
it and gave her the answer: "You
it behind a door, and that is what
has done with me. While I was useful,
used me, and now she has put me behind
Yes, Leonard of Port Maurice, the saint
was so keen on the Via Crucis that
these symbols in over 500 places (including
at the Coliseum in Rome), is right.
sadness to those in the world. We who
with God should be lighthearted."
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright