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Sunday, September 1, 2013
HOLY HUMOR BATMAN!: Good News from Christianity
I've often felt the Joker's question, as intoned with such menace by Heath Ledger, had a very personal pull for me, "Why so serious???" It does for all Christians, really, especially the serious, dour "frozen chosen" among us. People see us as stale, dull, of an earlier era well portrayed in Tim Burton's quirky CorpseBride, where the minister ... old, dour, irritable ... was played by the ever sinister Christopher Lee. Instead, holy lives should be joyous lives, filled with humor and laughter (amidst the pain ... there's no escaping life's pain and that's as it should be), because we know we all are beloved by God and always have been. Confidence in that fact, really understanding that powerful fact emotionally (heart are far harder to convince than heads), leads to joy ... a joy that sustains through all life's highs and lows. As James Martin says,
"In some religious circles joy, humor, and laughter are viewed ... as excessive. Excessive, irrelevant, ridiculous, inappropriate, and even scandalous. But a lighthearted spirit is none of these things. Rather, it is an essential element of a healthy spiritual life and a healthy life in general. When we lose sight of this serious truth, we cease to live life fully, truly, and wholly. Indeed, we fail to be holy."
From Between Heaven and Mirth, by James Martin, SJ