Thursday, November 29, 2018

THE VIRTUE OF LAUGHTER


“If this is how You treat your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”
--St Teresa of Avila, to God, allegedly after falling off her horse into the mud.

“In the age of social media, virtue is not defined by how compassionately you act. Virtue is defined by how vehemently you react to that which you find offensive. Virtue involves the self-display of a certain indignant sensibility, and anybody who doesn’t display that sensibility is morally suspect.”

--David Brooks from a NYT op-ed dated November 26, 2018

*****

"If there is a virtue, I repeat, that is desperately needed in the life and the work of the Church today--as it is needed in the world today--that virtue is joy. In one of the bleakest developments of modern times, Christians have suddenly become a people without humor. By a singularly unhappy chance, followers of Christ in particular have lost, please God only momentarily, the gift of laughter. The world is faced more and more--in routine daily life, in the mass media, in our leaders--with sarcastic people, stridently indignant people speaking in glib phrases with a certain acid cleverness; but people without humor...

Such joy in the Church is not at all inconsistent with full recognition of the suffering or privation that are the tragic aspects of the human condition. It does not render the devout insensible to these or unwilling to do their part in remedying them, but it does preserve them from the absurd air of personal offense which the reformers invariably bring to their reaction to evil in the universe or inadequacy in its inhabitants. The joy that the Church sings was the joy of Jesus Crucified."

--John Cardinal Wright, from the Foreword to Illustrissimi: Letters from Pope John Paul I


*****

“I see God’s hand so palpably in everything that almost—almost I fear they won’t kill me in these adventures.”

--Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, Jesuit priest (1891-1927), before being  shot by a Mexican firing squad for his faith. 

Blessed Miguel comforted one of his quaking executioners,
refused a blindfold,
and died crying, "Viva Cristo Rey!"--Long live Christ the King.



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