April 4, 2017: Divine Mercy Week 7 Humor and Irritation in Life
Here is a question that most of us ask ourselves often, “Why do I get irritated and annoyed at small things in life?” It’s probably common for us to become annoyed and bent out of shape after encountering a discourteous clerk at the store, a child asking for the 5th time for a snack, a person who is always late to a meeting, or a car parked in ‘your’ parking spot.
If you ask this question to secular experts, the advice they give you is to “breathe slowly and remind yourself that this too shall pass.” If you could ask one of the saints the same question, you would get an unexpected answer. For example, Mother Teresa said, “Accept small irritations with good humor.” She said that accepting small irritations is how one remains humble before God. Remember, if we think that we are putting up with much annoyance every day, just imagine how much irritation we cause God every day? How often do we use God’s name in vain when we are frustrated with something? He hasn’t struck you down, yet, has he?
Pope Francis said being a disciple means to have a spirit of joy and a sense of humor. He said, “An apostle must make an effort to be courteous, serene, enthusiastic and joyful, a person who transmits joy everywhere he goes. A heart filled with God is a happy heart which radiates an infectious joy: it is immediately evident! So let us not lose that joyful, humorous and even self-deprecating spirit which makes people amiable even in difficult situations. How beneficial is a good dose of humour!”
Two American archbishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Kurtz visited Pope Francis one day. They discussed a wide range of serious and grave matters. At the conclusion of their meeting, Pope Francis offered to walk the two archbishops to the door, to which Cardinal Dolan responded that it wasn’t necessary for him to do so. Pope Francis joking replied, “No, I want to make sure you leave.”
We all should take the advice of Pope Francis when he said, "A sense of humour is a gift I ask for everyday. Because a sense of humour lifts you up, it shows your life is short and to take things in the spirit of a redeemer."