Of Heavenly Laughter
Posted on October 11, 2016 by Sister Carol Perry

I don’t think we laugh enough. By now, we have all heard how Norman Cousins healed himself almost half a century ago by ignoring a medical world that offered him a dire prognosis and, instead of their remedies, laughed himself into wholeness through watching comedies. In the realm of the spiritual, I keep being reminded that we need to do the same.

When something turns up more than once in a day, to me that is God trying to get my attention. The first reminder came from my stumbling on a brief summary of the life of Margery Kempe, a 15th century mystic, whose spiritual journey began when she had a vision of the merriment in heaven. No, I know most of us don’t think of heaven as convulsed in laughter. Somehow that sound seems alien to the harp music that we think prevails. Dame Margery heard otherwise.

As I was rethinking the sounds of heaven I came upon a reflection of Richard Rohr that quoted a lovely little poem from Meister Eckhardt, a German mystic who preceded Dame Margery by a century. Eckhardt begins by asking if we want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity. He doesn’t wait for our assent, but tells us that the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son, who in turn laughs and gives birth to the Spirit.. Then, this merry Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.

I am sure that the contemporaries of Dame Margery and of Meister Eckhardt were confused by their decidedly unusual takes on the soundtrack of the celestial kingdom. I was initially too, but the more I reflect on it, the more I am convinced we need to join the laughter. Too much solemnity isn’t good for any of us, much less as the sound for all eternity. Isn’t it delightful to think of God’s joy at our coming into being?

My resolution for the day is to make sure that I add to the Trinitarian happiness in all I say and do. Would you like to join me in that blithe resolution?

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Sister Carol Perry

A gifted teacher and resident bible scholar at Marble, Sister Carol uses her extensive scholarship and imaginative storytelling skills to offer a fresh and innovative approach to exploring the Scriptures, bringing the stories of the Bible to life.

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