Friday, April 19, 2013

Between Heaven and Mirth

Last evening, Fr. James Martin was on the campus where I teach.  He gave a great talk based on his book, Between Heaven and Mirth.  The message was that a sense of humor was part of being human, and that we need to allow a spirit of joy to permeate our religious practice.  Too many gloomy Christians.  He punctuated his talk with some really hilarious jokes, many of them on himself. The man could be a standup comedian!  We had a good crowd, among them my students from the first semester course on Christian Spirituality. I had used Martin's book  The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything  as one book in that course, and the students loved it.  I was so pleased that they came to his talk when they had long since finished the course!

one joke he told:

A man knocks on the door of a Franciscan church and asks a priest to pray a novena so that he might be able to afford a Lexus. “What’s a Lexus?” says the poverty-minded Franciscan. Frustrated, the man goes to a parish run by the Dominicans (the order, not the nationality). “Will you pray a novena so that I can afford a Lexus?” Says the Dominican: “What’s a Lexus?” Finally, the man figures he’ll go to the Jesuits, since they have a reputation for being so worldly. “Father,” he says to the priest, “do you know what a Lexus is?” The priest nods. “Good,” says the man. “Will you pray a novena that I can afford one?” “Sure,” says the Jesuit. “What’s a novena  ?

one more:

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him. The Franciscan fell on his face, overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty. The Dominican fell to his knees, adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family. The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, “So, have you thought about where to send him to school?”

Maybe you have to be Catholic to get these jokes, but the crowd last night roared with laughter at them.  

No comments: