Leading Hearts to God with Humor

One of my favorite modern-day religion quotes comes from Mark Hart (aka The Bible Geek) who wrote on Twitter a while back, “An annoyed and joyless Christian is the devil’s greatest billboard.” In a nutshell, it captures why Christians need to be people of joy.

That quote came to mind when I read Matthew Warner’s new interview with singer-songwriter Jackie Francois about her new album, “Divine Comedy.” Having followed Jackie on Facebook and Twitter for about two years, I know she has a serious side, but she’s also got a Catholic Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett inside her that seems to burst out from time to time. In the interview, she captures the importance of humor and joy in the Christian life perfectly:

MW: Taking our faith seriously doesn’t mean we can’t have a sense of humor. You’re a funny gal. How important is comedy to evangelization?

JF: Humor is so important! People in this world think that if you are passionately Catholic you lack all passion, humor, and joy. When I meet people on planes (which is all the time, since I travel every week), they are absolutely shocked that I am Catholic, because I have a huge smile on my face (almost all the time) and crack jokes. Our hearts, which can be guarded and afraid, are put at ease with humor. We feel more open to a person when they give us joy and laughter, and ultimately we are led to God, because He is the source of joy. One of my favorite quotes is from Blessed Mother Teresa who said, “Joy is the net of love by which we catch souls.” People won’t always remember what you say, but they’ll remember your presence, and people are drawn to those with joy. Like St. Teresa of Avila said, “I am more afraid of one unhappy sister than a crowd of evil spirits… What would happen if we hid what little sense of humor we had? Let each of us humbly use this to cheer others.” I try to use humor because 1. I am a big goofball, and 2. it opens up people to the message of the Gospel. St. Katharine Drexel said, “We must attract them by joy in order to lead them to its source, the Heart of Christ.” Amen!

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-warner/jackie-francois-on-her-divine-comedy-and-more#ixzz22WlYYsEU

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About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.

  • Carol Johnson

    When people turn away people in emotional pain and crisis, they turn those people away from God. I went to church and found atheism. If there really was a god, he’d have seen fit to put just one person in my life that I could talk to. Either he isn’t there or he doesn’t care.

    • Tony Rossi

      I’m sorry you had the experience at church that you did, Carol. I have heard some people claim a similar experience, while others have the opposite – namely, church is where they found a community to help them through the rough parts of their lives. Sometimes breaking into that community can be the most difficult thing to do. Churches are made up of human beings and therefore, human weakness is just as present there as anywhere else. Cliques emerge or people may just be too preoccupied with their own lives to reach out to others. My one suggestion would be to try what nowadays is called “church shopping.” Look into churches in your area that have ministries with which you could get involved or that speak directly to the type of emotional pain you’re going through. You might even be able to do some research online. I’m confident that God loves you and cares about you, Carol. The problem is that we human beings aren’t always responsive to His call.

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