Daily Grind

Daily Grind

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Holy Laughter

We don’t often think of putting the words “laughter” and “holy” together – at least I don’t!  Sometimes people assume as a sister-in-training I must be very serious.  In fact, in my experience of religious life, joy and laughter are central.  Recently, a sister shared a memory from her college professor days: a student, overhearing the loud laughter of sisters, exclaimed how much fun they were having while he was stuck in his room studying!  And, yes, she laughed as she told me that story.

From another sister, I learned about a tradition I’d never heard of: the risus paschalis (Easter Laugh).  Homilists would tell jokes in their Easter Sunday preaching to make the assembly laugh all together – a welcome change after solemn weeks of Lent. Some sources say that the ancient practice of the Easter Laugh symbolizes the Resurrection’s triumph over evil.  Like the bells, flowers, water, and fire that are used during the fifty days of the Easter season, laughter can be liturgical symbol of joy and life! 

As Easter people, joy and laughter are part of our spiritual lives.  With Sarah, our foremother in faith, we can say “God has made me laugh; everyone who hears will laugh with me!” (Gen 21:6)

When was the last time you had a good laugh?

Rhonda Miska
Sinsinawa, WI

Monday, June 19, 2017

Be a Blessing, Benedicere!

A dear parishioner, invited me to bless her home.  She said that she wasn’t sleeping well and she kept misplacing things.  It didn’t help her peace of mind to have been told that a house nearby was reputed to be haunted!  Not withstanding this, or the fact that the woman was in her eighties and lived alone, or even that I showed symptoms of the same ‘maladies’, I gladly consented to her wish. 

When I arrived at her home she promptly sat me down and, 2 1/2 hours later, we were still conversing!  The house blessing seemed secondary to the blessing that my presence and companionship brought to her.  In fact, when we did get around to the blessing of the house, it took all of 10 minutes.  

The experience got me thinking that to be a blessing isn’t only about what we do for others but also about who we are for them: a presence, a listening ear, a companion, available and willing to go the extra mile.  

This dear older woman indicated that she slept better that night and extended an invitation for me to come again!

Who needs you to be a blessing today?

Gail Jagroop, OP
St. Joseph, Trinidad

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