Of the Happy and the Vain Religious
Blessed is that religious who feels no pleasure or joy save in most holy conversation and the works of the Lord, and who by these means leads men2 to the love of God in joy and gladness. And woe to that religious who takes delight in idle and vain words and by this means provokes men to laughter.
Some balance, please! I admit that I sometimes, well often wonder whether I might be happier spending more of my time in ‘holy’ conversation and could see the fruit of my labours?
Since these Admonitions were written for himself and his brothers the exhortations may have indicated the way they were to encourage each other in their growth in holiness.
This is definitely the case as we consider the other brother who delights in making others laugh and perhaps wants to be liked, has low self-esteem and will be remembered for his joy.
As Christians our Ministry needs to consist of both of these things, the educated dialogue that informs and elevates, the works of the Lord that demonstrate that we believe as we teach and to know when to make merry, to be light hearted.
- 1.Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, newly translated into English with an Introduction and Notes by Father Paschal Robinson (Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press, 1906). 10/10/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#lf0535_label_153
- 2. See Speculum Perfectionis, ed. Sabatier, p 189 – http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#lf0535_label_154