One morning this week, a slip-o’-the-fingers fumble was followed by an semi-athletic and somewhat comic search-and-recovery effort that I won’t even try to describe because it falls into the “you had to be there” category. Suffice it to say, we had some gentle laughter with our toast and coffee. Admiring the athletic retrieval effort, someone joked about the “morning calisthenics.”
Here in the monastery, humorous situations unfold with regularity. It seems that putting a group of people to live, pray, and work together is an invitation for humor. Sometimes it’s the intentional humor of telling a good story. Often it’s simply the joy of being together. But sometimes it’s the comical situations that seem to naturally arise in the course of day to day life. As some of us often say to each other, “you can’t make this stuff up.” It seems that a bit of comedy is simply woven into the warp and weft of community life. Always, it is rooted in gladness of heart and love for our Sisters in monastic community.
We often remind each other that a good sense of humor is essential, especially in community. Healthy humor is kind of like calisthenics for the soul. Being able to laugh well and good-naturedly helps to work out kinks, smooth over misunderstandings, and keep community life, and our individual spirits, healthy and limber and strong. A good, healthy laugh that flows from gladness of heart and Christian charity is often just the right “exercise” to help us pursue this very serious monastic endeavor with the perfect blend of faithfulness, fervor, and joy. It’s worth searching for, even when we look pretty funny doing it.