One of the signs of healthy family and community life is laughter. Any group of people who laugh together, will move more easily through the challenges of even the most difficult day. Wise medical people advise of the health benefits of laughter.
Pope Francis has a unique gift of getting people to laugh. His own laughter is contageous. Pope Benedict, while not an extrovert like Francis, also had a lively sense of humour. One of my favourite Benedict quotations was from an interview a few years ago, after he had been elected pope:
“I’m not a man who constantly thinks up jokes. But I think it’s very important to be able to see the funny side of life and its joyful dimension and not to take everything too tragically. I’d also say it’s necessary for my ministry. A writer once said that angels can fly because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Maybe we could also fly a bit if we didn’t think we were so important.”
Given the importance of humour in a healthy life, it was great to see the Vatican issue a new stamp this week commemorating 125 years since the birth of Charlie Chaplin.