Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laughter and "don't know" mind

Artist: Frans Hals

As I think I've said before here, I'm very grateful for the ministry of Richard Rohr whom I first discovered in the early nineties. This is from what is probably my favorite of his books, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer.
The 'final stage' of the wisdom of faith is what we might call the Holy Fool. Ironically the Holy Fool is one who knows he doesn't know, but doesn't need to either. That's the freedom. I'm not saying the Fool sits in some kind of dull ignorance. I am saying there is a state of inner freedom into which true wisdom comes....

If we can't laugh after 50 or 60 years, we probably haven't done it right. We're taking ourselves too seriously; we have not discerned the mystery. Everything finally belongs. If we can't laugh, we are probably holding our debts against ourselves and we haven't accepted forgiveness. The person of prayer, quite simply, is a person who can cry from the heart and laugh from the belly.... God forgives the world for being broken and poor. God forgives us for not being all that we thought we had to be and even for what God wanted us to be. That is probably why we fall in love with such a God. Why wouldn't you? You would be a fool not to - and you will be a 'holy fool' if you do.


  1. It's the idea of the fool that captures my attention. The fool who voices what others dare not voice. The fool who believe what others dare not believe. The fool who hears good and bad, sees good and bad, speaks good and bad and gets away with it because he/she is willing to be laughed at. That's part of the problem with our culture today. We don't have enough fools.


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