Telling Jokes to Sally Quinn

And why not?  Invited to do so during a Washington Post/Newsweek "On Faith" interview. 

James Martin, SJ

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6 years 11 months ago
We Christians have every reason to be the happiest, lover of jokes, and most joyful people on earth. Well, joyful yes, as Joy is a Gift of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand happiness is the result of material success, like family ties spousal and otherwise, enough to eat, proper lodging, sufficient clothing,  adequate income,  good friends and so on. Without such material blessings it’s very difficult if not impossible to be happy. And laughter is not easy to generate, although not impossible. Because it is not impossible effort must be made, rooted in the Gift of Joy to be happy, to cultivate good humor, no matter the darkness. We  really  do have so much to be happy about, especially in family, ever spiraling upwards by reason of  the Universal Call to Holiness.  At least so it seems to me .Not easy, often heroic, calling for lots of moral guts!
   Incidentally, if I have it right,   once St.  Bernadette asked the  Blessed  Mother to make her happy. That child had a miserable life filled with deprivations and suffering.  Even in the Convent she suffered neglect and persecutions. Blessed Mother told Bernadette, “I cannot promise to make you happy on this earth.” Very interesting!
We Christians do have every reason to be the most joyful people on earth and to laugh easily and   readily  because  Christianity teaches that God is an ever loving Person, Whose mercy endures forever. We’re told  God’s Mercy is above all His works, that He is   by Nature, Mercy itself! And also because Everlasting Life in the Land of the Living, awaits us! That should make Christians (Catholics) deliriously joyful, with smiling faces and sunny dispositions even in hardships.
 Interestingly talking about God’s mercy,, there is a strand in Franciscan Speculative Theology that suggests, even the creation of that state  we  call  Hell, was an act of Divine Mercy towards the Fallen Angels. So intense was their hatred of God after the Fall that, it would have been a greater Hell for them to remain in the Divine Presence. So God, mercifully cast them out! I think it was either Bonaventure, or Scotus, who proposed that theory.
But speaking personally, the super greatest reason Christians have for Joy and happiness as far as I’m concerned , is the Blessed Sacrament, the Real Presence of Jesus  in the tabernacle!  Once the mindboggling reality of the Real Presence takes full possession  of your persona, there is nothing on this earth that can destroy Joy, the fertile soil containing seeds of happiness ever ready to sprout therefrom at least as tiny flowers hard to see.  Talking about “mirth,” could anything be more mirthful? A joke anybody?

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