“From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!"
- St. Teresa of Avila
We’ve all heard the adage, “Laughter is the best medicine.” In many ways, it really is. When was the last time you really laughed? The gift of imagination allows us to see possible things that are yet to be. Imagine a world filled with laughter. We take life too seriously sometimes. Fear, uncertainty, pressure, negativity, disappointment, and myriad other human experiences can rob us of the joy needed for laughter. God never promised us an easy road, and we do have to take the course of our lives seriously. However, there is a balance to be sought and a possible joy that can be brought even to the darkest and most challenging of encounters.
St. Therese of Lisieux reminds us that, “Joy is not found in the material objects surrounding us but in the inner recesses of the soul. One can possess joy in a prison cell as well as in a palace.” Falling in love with God, who is present in all of creation, allows us to bring a depth of understanding to everything we do and experience. We can more easily see above and beyond things while pursuing the only One who can truly satisfy our hearts. When we realize that God, the king of Israel, is in our midst and with us, there is no further misfortune to fear. We can celebrate the wonder and beauty of God’s gift of joy. It is no wonder that many saints radiate joy and have no reservations expressing laughter. They are happy because they have found a pearl of great price.
We celebrate with joy today with hearts filled with expectation, wonder, awe, and beauty as we ready ourselves, even more excitedly, for the coming of our Savior. Do not fear and do not be discouraged. If you haven’t laughed in a while, why? Something is preventing you from expressing the magnificence of your soul and the presence of God who dwells within. God’s power and presence within us assures us that we are loved and kept in that presence. What more is really needed? Rejoice and laugh in the presence of God! It really is the best medicine and a most perfect way to convince others that God is really with us. “Go ahead, laugh! Live your life with joy and serve the Lord with laughter! Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.”
(St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)