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Laughter And Humility In The Eyes Of St. Benedict

3204 words - 13 pages

There are many different reactions to St. Benedict’s response and advice concerning laughter, how laughter is a bad trait, and how it may also at times be a good trait. Many do not agree with what St. Benedict has to say about laughter, simply in my opinion it is because they do not understand fully what he is discussing and his stance on the matter. 1“Let us follow the Prophet's counsel: I said, I have resolved to keep watch over my ways that I may never sin with my tongue. I was silent and was humbled, and I refrained even from good words.” Although St. Benedict is not totally against laughter and humor he does not fully support it either. As long as it comes from a positive aspect, and not coming from something negative or demeaning he is more acceptable to laughter and having a good time, which we can all agree on. Some people may say that St. Benedict comes off a bit harsh in his teachings, making it seem as if his views are the only right way to live. I believe however, that St. Benedict has very valid points, and if you look at what he is saying from a Christian standpoint, and an open mind, you too will fully understand his teachings.

When reviewing the Rule of St. Benedict the word laughter comes to the reader’s attention in three different chapters and in five (plus) different versus. 2St. Benedict makes several different points about laughter and why he does not think that laughter should be a part of a person’s everyday life. 2In chapters 4, 6, and 7 that’s where St. Benedict talks about laughter, in each chapter he makes very clear distinctive points on why you should not participate in laughter, and how it can be hurtful to others. 2In Chapter 4 verse 53 St. Benedict states “Speak no foolish chatter, nothing just to provoke laughter.” 2In Chapter 4 verse 54 he says, “Do not love immoderate or boisterous laughter.” With this being said it is not that St. Benedict forbids all laughter, he just forbids laughter that is out of control and is caused by subjects that are inappropriate in the monastic life. As you can see here St. Benedict does not want anyone to find something funny that is inappropriate or hurtful to another. 2In Chapter 6 verse 8 St. Benedict states, “We absolutely condemn in all places any vulgarity and gossip and talk leading to laughter, and also we do not permit a disciple to engage in words of that kind.” What St. Benedict means here is that he does not want people to get the joy and excitement of laughter by talking about other people and spreading untrue stories about someone just to laugh, which is something that is completely out of control in today’s society, and something that we deal with everyday. Disciples are not allowed to talk about people in a rude way so we should not talk that way either, we truly should look more to God’s disciples as leaders and positive influences on our lives. 2In Chapter 7 verse 59 it states that “The tenth step of humility is that he is not given to ready laughter,...

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