A lighter piece: Can strong faith make you more humorous?
Though I disagree with Kerry Trotter about her (admittedly biased) speculation that perhaps Catholics understand humor best of all because they have “suffered better than anyone,” her example of St. Lawrence does shed light on a beautiful truth of Christianity and, for that matter, any belief in an afterlife.
As the story goes, the greedy prefect of Rome demanded that St. Lawrence, a deacon, hand over all the treasures of the Church. St. Lawrence, bearing a shrewd sense of irony, presented to the prefect a mass of the city’s sick and poor. Zing. The prefect was not amused and sentenced St. Lawrence to death — a particularly slow and cruel method of roasting him over a fire.
As St. Lawrence burned, he joked: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” And at the moment before he died, he said, “I’m cooked enough now.”
It is with the belief in Heaven and an all-merciful God—the knowledge of a Love that is so much greater than our human follies and sufferings—that our human debility ceases to encase us in hopelessness and becomes instead a source of laughter.
For St. Lawrence, Trotter says, “the ecstasy of martyrdom and the promise of Heaven [were] enough of a consolation prize to keep him cracking jokes. This guy got it.”
Read the whole of Trotter’s article: What’s So Funny About Catholicism?