In preparation for my class on Oral Communication next year I have been reading about humor. I brought a book called The Humor of Jesus by Henri Cormier into our public library. Although I don’t recommend Cormier’s book, he does conclude with some stories that illustrate how a life of faith leads to a joyfully humorous response, even in the face of martyrdom. I thought it worth sharing two of these testimonies:
“St. Tomas More, as he was about to ascend the gallows, had this to say to the master of the tower. ‘Help me climb up. I can manage the trip down by myself.'”
“One of the victims that fell into the hands of the Chinese Communists was the young Chiao. He was a pleasant young man. Brought before the assembly where he was formally accused, and forced to kneel, he answered, ‘I kneel only before my God.’ He was severely beaten and forced to his knees. After the hearing, they commanded him to stand up. ‘I am sorry,’ he told them, ‘but I have not finished praying to my God.'”
Cormier concludes that “There is a sort of mystery and service of humor. It consists more in living than in preaching, so that everyone can learn to live, to suffer, even to die in a true spirit of faith and hope and love.”
Wow! I expect that most of us will never know if our heart is ready to respond to martyrdom with the humor of Christ, but all of us could use more of Christ’s joy.
- Humor: It is Innate or Nutured? (allthingsfulfilling.com)