This week some of us in initial formation had the opportunity to spend a week at the motherhouse of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, a global missionary congregation based in New York. It was an honor to spend a week with these women, especially because of the unique Sinsinawa connection: when the Maryknoll congregation was just beginning, sisters from Sinsinawa moved to New York to assist them in its foundation.
I found myself drawn to photos of their foundress, Mother Mary Joseph: she has a jolly smile on her face in almost each one. She was clearly a woman who valued a good laugh! In describing qualities that should mark a Maryknoll Sister, she finished with “the saving grace of a kindly humor.”
It’s easy to see the Sinsinawa connection in these words! Humor and laughter are not only qualities that drew me to my sisters; they’re also important components of a healthy spiritual life. They’re reflections of the deep joy that comes from a life rooted in God. Good humor helps us take ourselves less seriously, encourages us to be more generous with each other, and bonds us to one another. We certainly experienced this during our Maryknoll road trip, which was punctuated with a healthy dose of laughter.
Of course, humor can also help us through the difficult times. No vocation (or life) is without its trials, and religious life is no exception. Sometimes humor literally is a “saving grace.” Has this ever been the case for you?
Have you laughed with God recently?’
Sr. Christin Tomy