Maryknoll and Laughter

Two Sundays ago, I had what writers of an earlier era would call a "rollicking good time" speaking to a group of about 500 Catholics on laughter (at least I think they were all Catholics--they certainly got all the Catholic jokes), and was interviewed on the topic by Maryknoll Media.  The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, as well as the Maryknoll Sisters, and the Maryknoll Lay Associates, have been a wonderful part of my life since my time in East Africa.  (The Maryknoll Sisters, in particular, used to remind me not to take myself so seriously, and laugh at all the unpredictable things that used to happen in Nairobi.)  Here, with thanksgiving to all the Maryknollers I've known and loved, is a portion of the talk and the interview.  And no you can't click on that photo there, with the "What Me, Worry?" pose.  You have to click here for the video.  Hope it makes you laugh!

James Martin, SJ 

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9 years 2 months ago
Padre: I know I am rather hard on the Society in my posts; however, I have high expectations. I like to say I have had a Jesuit education, by proxy. All the men in my family have gone to Georgetown or Georgetown Prep. My niece is an alum of Georgetown Law.

I will tell you that my house was filled with Jesuits growing up because my father dearly loved the Society. I have wonderful memories of the Jesuits who loved to drink bourbon, sing broadway tunes and howl with laughter. They baptised, married and buried us. They said Mass for at us at the beach, in our living room. And we loved those short Masses! And what holy men they were.

I think you are so very right about joy and spirituality. So many come to mind... A nun I had at Visitation is someone about whom I cannot consider in my mind, without, at the same time, seeing her smile and laughter. Archbishop Dolan comes to mind. Who could be more filled with the love of life and Our Lord than Dolan? We are an Easter people!
Peter Lakeonovich
9 years 2 months ago
Very interesting. Reminds me of a ''Philosophy of Laughter, Humor & Satire'' course I took at Boston College with Fr. Gerard O'Brien, SJ. Happy Thanksgiving Fr. Jim.
9 years 2 months ago
Back at you, Padre. Something was tugging at my memory with regard to joy and I could not remember what it was until just about an hour ago. After my Mother died several years ago, my sister discovered the below in my Mother's Bible. It is so beautiful and seems so appropriate as we enter into Advent:

And now God says to us what he has already said to the world as a whole through his grace-filed birth: " I am here. I am with you. I am your life. I am the gloom of your daily routine. I weep your tears. I am your JOY. Do not be afraid to be happy, for ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living that is really more suitable than anxiety and grief of those who think they have no hope. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly, I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love that you do not understand. I am present in your needs.

This reality-incomprehensible wonder of my limitless love-I have sheltered safely in the cold stable of your world. I am there. I no longer go away from this world, even if you do not see me now... I am there. It is Christmas. Light the candles. They have more right to exist than all the darkness. It is Christmas. Christmas that last forever ".-Karl Rahner SJ
Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
9 years 2 months ago
This was brilliant, thanks for sharing it. I was sitting here praying for inspiration for a post for my parish blog, I think the Holy Spirit has given me the foundation with this topic. Thank you!
P.S. I have had non-Catholics (3 to be exact) ask me if you were a "real" priest after they saw you on Colbert at various times. *sigh* It is great that you are seen in that space and so many others.
9 years 2 months ago
For many years i've used the following prayer of St. Thomas More as part of my rather informal 'morning offering'.
"Lord, grant me a holy heart, that sees always what is fine and pure and is not frightened at the sight of sin, but creates order wherever it goes.
Grant me a heart that knows nothing of boredom, of weeping and of sighing.
Let me not be concerned with the bothersome thing I call "myself".
Lord, give me a sense of humor and I will find happiness in life and profit for others."
Isn't part of the joy (and humor) of life just being tuned in to it?
9 years 2 months ago
The Holy Spirit is so accomodating, hmm? Tom, what a beauty, thank you!!


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