When is funny not funny?

by Joan Chittister

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Ask my friends, they know: I tell stories all the time. I love a good joke. And I laugh a lot. All of which provides some serious problems for me in trying to deal with the 10th step of humility on laughter and humor. Let alone try to explain it to anyone else.

Worse, at this moment in U.S. history, trying to distinguish between what's funny and what's not is no small task.

The tenth step of humility is that we "are not given to ready laughter for it is written, 'Only fools raise their voices in laughter' (Sirach 21:23)."

Only fools.

This one stopped me.

Of all the steps of humility with which I found myself faced in the early days of my religious life, not one had as much effect on me as this one. This one I simply could not accept. Everything in me rebelled at the thought of being at the mercy of a bloodless, humorless existence all the rest of my life — and that in the name of holiness.

Read the full column at National Catholic Reporter.