When Christians of different denominations work together, we discover that we have similar problems. We exchange experiences and become more joyful. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in each Christian, is the spirit of joy. (Gal. 5:22-23)
Two Very Different Catholic Men and Christian Joy: Click here.
Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, and Christian Joy
In a retreat for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX, always began each presentation with a joke. He explained why: "I came home from the seminary one summer, and was surprised to find my mother watching a soap opera on TV. I asked her why she watched such trash. She looked me right in the eye and said: 'Because it makes me laugh, which you don't.' Ever since then, I begin my talks with a joke."
Joyful Noiseletter, July-August, 2017, p. 2, submitted by Fr. Harry Winter, OMI.
Founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Eugene deMazenod (1782-1861), appears to the current USA provincial leader.
A priest was
invited to a house party. Naturally, he was
properly dressed and wearing his priest's collar.
A little boy kept staring at him the entire
evening. Finally, the priest asked the little
boy what he was staring at.
The little boy
pointed to the priest's neck. When the priest
finally realized what the boy was pointing at, he
asked the boy: "Do you know why I am wearing
The boy nodded his
head yes, and replied "It kills fleas and ticks for
up to three months." (given to me by Methodist Gerry
Manwarren, magazine unknown).
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school
after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.One said to the other, 'What do you think about all this Satan stuff? 'The other boy replied, 'Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.'
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl
whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?''The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.' The child thought about this for a moment then said,'So why is the groom wearing black?
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!' While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late, but please don't shove me either!'
Three boys are in the schoolyard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, 'My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.' The second boy says, 'That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100. The third boy says, 'I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!'
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?' He answered, 'Call for backup.''
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied, 'They couldn't get a babysitter.'
An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, 'They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.'
You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing! Take heed and pass these along to people who need a laugh. I thought you would enjoy this. 'They haven't found a way to tax you for laughing yet.'
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, 'Johnny, what is the matter?' Little Johnny responded, 'I have pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife.'
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to 'Honor thy father and thy mother,' she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?' Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'
In their highly acclaimed book The
Book of Joy,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Douglas Abrams have stated:
"Joy is much bigger than happiness." Published
in 2016 by Random House, I highly recommend this
book, which explores how joy can become a lasting
way of being (p. 5). Both leaders have suffered
immensely, so this is not a nave book, but a book
of experience and growth.
Martin Luther on
Flee from sorrow,
whose author is Satan. God is the enemy of
sorrow, and pursues it with all His words, the Holy
Spirit, the sacraments, the Gospel. God wants
us to be happy and hates sadness. God is not a
God of sadness, but the devil is. Christ is a
God of joy. It is pleasing to the dear God
whenever thou rejoices and laughest from the bottom
of thy heart. A Christian should and must be a
cheerful person (Table Talks, used in The Joyful Noiseletter,
30 (Sept.-Oct. 2015, 5) 1.
Highly Recommended: The Fellowship of Merry Christians, with their Joyful
Noiseletter, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul
The Fellowship of Merry Christians has a website (www.JoyfulNoiseletter.com)
and six times a year publication, The JoyfulNoiseletter, especially recognized for its
cartoons. Better than the cartoons of the New
Yorker magazine, according to experts. Many, many
great books on joyful Christianity are listed on the
The Chicken Soup for the Soul group is less religious and more
spiritual. Its motto is "Changing lives one
story at a time," and its website
www.chickensoup.com. This Christmas I was given
their book Chicken Soup for the Soul, My Very
Good, Very BadCat, and I found many of
the stories to deeply resonate with a spirituality
which comes to you from the side, rather than
Martin Luther, the Christmas Tree and 95 Theses,
according to Garrison Keillor
It is reliably reported that
Martin Luther was the first person to have a
Christmas tree inside his home, after he renounced
his Catholic priesthood and married. However,
Garrison Keillor is reported by one of our Oblates
to have explained it this way. Luther was out
in the woods for a little walk, and as he passed the
pine tree, a branch hit him in the face. He
was so angry he chopped the tree down. Only
then did he decide it would look nice, decorated,
inside the house.
A search on the internet
has failed to find this story. But Keillor did
write a spoof on Luther's 95 theses:
(And see the first click below for Keillor's
"Singing with Lutherans").
In his remarkable book Between Heaven and Mirth, Jesuit
Father James Martin, S.J., writes the following,
about the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of
Loyola, which may explain part of Pope Francis'
Jesuit sense of humor.
During my Jesuit novitiate, the New England provincial
superior, the man in charge of the Jesuits of the
region, visited our community. As he was an
authority figure, many of us were rather nervous
about his visit. To open his discussion he recounted
a (true) story that came from the autobiography of
St. Ignatius of Loyola.
One day, after Ignatius' conversion, he was riding on a mule
when he came upon another man on the road also
riding on a mule. In the course of their brief
conversation, the man insulted the Virgin Mary and
then rode off. Ignatius, who was still very much of
a hothead, waxed furious.
So he started to think about murder. But, try as he might, he
was unable to decide whether he should kill the man
or not. At that moment he reached a (literal) fork
in the road. Ignatius decided to leave the fate of
the blasphemer up to his mule As he wrote in his
autobiography, "If the mule took the village road, I
would seek him out and stab him; if the mule did not
go toward the village, but took the highway, I would
let him be." Fortunately for all concerned, the
donkey chose the highway.
After the provincial told us novices this story about Ignatius, he
smiled and said: "Ever since then, asses have
been making decisions in the Jesuits" (pp. 169-70).
Preparation for the 499th
anniversary of Luther's Theses, Oct. 31, 2016.
On this past Reformation
Sunday, grandma was sitting in the pew with her
8-year-old grandson, Luke. After the
children's sermon about the Reformation, grandma
pointed out to Luke, in the hymnal the song we were
going to sing, "A Mighty Fortress is our God." At
the bottom of the page, Luke read "Text by Martin
Luke innocently exclaimed,
"you mean I can text Martin Luther!" He was ready to
do so with his cell phone in hand.
March-April, 2016, p. 2, by Rev. Dr. Clifton J.
Suehr, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church,
by Beth Nelson
Lord's Supper, a Bittersweet Experience?
Many Christians have heard the story that at the
Passover Meal during which Jesus instituted the
Lord's supper, He looked around the room and
realized that all, with the possible exception of
John, would betray Him (Peter in a spectacular
manner). He then raised His hand towards the waiter
and said "Separate checks."
Christians, the Lord's Supper or Mass is the source
of both joy and sorrow. See especially the items on
the Eucharistic Hospitality page, and the item
regarding the Synod of Bishops on the home page, for
ways to overcome the sorrow.
Nov.-Dec. 2015 Joyful Noiseletter, p. 3.
Little John the
"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And
who ever welcomes a little child like this in my
name welcomes me. "
Johnny's Mother looked out the window and noticed
him "playing church" with their cat.
He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching
to it. She smiled and went about her work.
A while later she
heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back To the
open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub
She called out, "Johnny, stop that! The cat is
afraid of water!"
Johnny looked up at her and said, "He should have
thought about that before he joined my church."
Send this to someone who needs a laugh today and
Knowing scripture can save your life - in more ways
Have a great day, Feed your faith and your doubts
will starve to death...
Pope Francis as joyful recommended by Ellen
As the campaign in 1959 and 1960 heated up,
the famous Protestant leader Norman Vincent Peale
came out with a very public statement that he did
not believe a Catholic could be president, because
of connections to the Pope. Adlai Stevenson, also a
Protestant, who had been the Democratic Party's
candidate for president both in 1952 and 1956,
quipped: I find St. Paul appealing, and St. Peale