This was one of many questions posed by Sr. Anne Smollin CSJ that made the normally quiet, sacred space of the Mystical Rose Oratory ring out with waves of laughter. Sr. Anne is called the “Laughing Nun” for good reason. She recommends laughter as an essential spice for life—even for holiness–with the zeal of a Norman Cousins who lived to prove its healing power, and the messianic conviction of someone who does not take kindly to exercise. (“Walkers belong to a cult.”)
She finds validation for her aversion to exercise in a bumper sticker: “FAT PEOPLE ARE HARDER TO KIDNAP.” Who needs more of a reason for TWO scoops of ice cream?
A keynote speaker at the 2013 Marianist BILAC Conference, Sr. Anne modeled her message, lacing wisdom with laughter from start to finish. She made the case through one anecdote after another, for putting laughter in our day, if for no other reason than it bolsters our immune system—and that of those around us.. It’s too easy to be busy simply getting things done. But for our health, and the health of those around us, we cannot afford to miss the opportunities to say “I love you.”
“If we don’t make time to play, we will at some point, have to make time to recuperate,” she said. It’s all about treating our body with reverence, as we would a temple. (Would a temple wear a thong? I mean, really?) It is a repository of all our memories. It is in our interest to make those good memories. To pack our systems with joy. To be open to the holy moments of sacramental joy in each day. “Coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous.”
Sr. Anne left us believing that if we respect the sacredness of our lives, if we truly want to be the salt of the earth, we must learn to live well, love much and laugh often.