Laugh, grow strong, and chase away the devil
The late comedienne Joan Rivers famously used to ask, “Can we talk?”
Here’s another question: Can we laugh?
Laughter chases the devil away. He hates when we laugh because when we laugh we have joy. The devil is the antithesis of laughter. The only snicker he has is when we are in pain. This is the dark side of humor: when we laugh at the misfortunes of others. We’re not talking about that! We’re talking about a good, clean, and honest laugh — a laugh that purges tension.
Anything that purges tension has the potential to heal (or prevent disease to begin with).
We’ve spoken this week about the “gift of tears.” There is also the gift of (right) humor. It too cleanses the spirit.
“Laugh and grow strong,” said St. Ignatius Loyola.
Laughter is a short stop away from joy.
It really does work. The other night we heard a preacher talk about how the devil tries to emotionally block us up like throwing stones in a well.
He does this our whole lives, trying to halt the flow of positive emotions. Laughter is like a geyser that tosses the boulders aside. Laughter lets loose healing. Laughter released hormones called endorphins that cause us to relax.
True, there’s nowhere in Scripture where Christ told a joke. And, true, earth is serious business. We’d never deny that!
We’re cognizant indeed of the difficulties and dangers on earth, which is a place of trial. No one could accuse us of taking such things lightly.
But we need to have balance. The current Pope loves a good joke. So too, if we recall correctly, did Saint John Paul II. We need to have joy.
No matter the difficulty, the bottom line is that we live forever — eternity is a fact — and knowing this should expel all gloomy thoughts.
There are those who believe they encountered Jesus on the “other side” and that He had a surprising sense of humor, a twinkle in His eyes. Maybe!
Want to say an effective prayer? Pray for a better sense of humor. God loves this prayer! Pray for a smile. Pray to make others laugh.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the Holy Spirit will move in this direction, for God has a very cheerful side. His deepest essence is joy. Pray to lift your spirits. Pray to lift the spirits of others.
When we do, the devil flees because with good humor comes the light of Heaven.
[see also: The ‘gift of tears’]
[In jest: The Pope (it could not be the current one, who prefers Fiats) goes to New York. He is picked up at the airport by a limousine. He looks at the beautiful car and says to the driver, “You know, I hardly ever get to drive. Would you please let me?”
The driver is understandably hesitant and says, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m supposed to do that.”
But the Pope persists, “Please?” The driver finally lets up. “Oh, all right, I can’t really say no to the Pope.”
So the Pope takes the wheel, and boy, is he a speed demon! He hits the gas and goes around 100 mph in a 45 zone. A policeman notices and pulls him over.
The cop walks up and asks the Pope to roll down the window. Startled and surprised, the young officer asks the Pope to wait a minute. He goes back to his patrol car and radios the chief.
Cop: Chief, I have a problem.
Chief: What sort of problem?
Cop: Well, you see, I pulled over this guy for driving way over the speed limit but it’s someone really important.
Chief: Important like the mayor?
Cop: No, no, much more important than that.
Chief: Important like the governor?
Cop: Waaaay more important than that.
Chief: Like the president?
Chief: Who’s more important than the president?
Cop: I don’t know, but he’s got the Pope driving for him!]