Monday, June 08, 2020


Now Hear About Laughter

Apophthegmata Patrum, systematic collection 3.55 (tr. John Wortley):
One of the saints said [this] about loose talk: "Loose talk is like a burning wind, destroying the fruits of the monk. Now hear about laughter: laughter throws out the blessedness of sorrow. Laughter does not construct, does not protect; it destroys and demolishes what has been constructed. Laughter grieves the Holy Spirit, is of no benefit to the soul, and corrupts the body. Laughter chases off the virtues; it has neither remembrance of death nor contemplation of the punishments."
Greek text from Jean-Claude Guy, ed., Les Apophthegmes des Pères: Collection systématique, Chapitres I-IX (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1993 = Sources Chrétiennes, 387), p. 180:
Εἶπέ τις τῶν ἁγίων περὶ τῆς παρρησίας· Ἡ παρρησία ὡς ἀνεμοκαύσων ἐστὶ διαφθείρουσα τοὺς καρποὺς τοῦ μοναχοῦ. Περὶ δὲ τοῦ γέλωτος νῦν ἄκουε· ὁ γέλως τὸν μακαρισμὸν τοῦ πένθους ἔξω βάλλει· ὁ γέλως οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖ, οὐ φυλάσσει, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀπόλλει καὶ τὰ οἰκοδομηθέντα καταλύει· ὁ γέλως τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον λυπεῖ, ψυχὴν οὐκ ὠφελεῖ, σῶμα δὲ διαφθείρει· ὁ γέλως τὰς ἀρετὰς ἐκδιώκει, οὐκ ἔχει μνήμην θανάτου οὐδὲ μελέτην τῶν κολάσεων.
Ha ha.

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