Kiss Me, I'm Joyful!

            Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This is a marvelous day to enjoy all sorts of joyful Irish culture – the music, the beer, the corned beef and cabbage (which imho doesn’t engender that much joy, except when accompanied by the music and beer), the storytelling….

           I’ve always thought it such an interesting phenomenon – there is often so much high-spiritedness in what the Irish create – and yet, their history is filled with so much tragedy and pain.  I find it to be a real testament to the ability of the human being (and the God who animates us) to find laughter’s deepest, most resonant place when life is at its otherwise most bleak.  And to lift up that deep, resonant levity most resolutely and defiantly for all the world to see!

            This, I believe, is also at the heart of the “Sarah” story in Genesis 18 and 21.  Her life is at its lowest point when her baby finally comes.  That’s why she names him Isaac (“laughter”) – “so that all who see me will laugh with me.” 

           And that’s why the Israelites embrace the Sarah/Isaac story as the one that begins their journey as a people – a journey that was never-endingly filled with heartbreak, setback, suffering and loss.  How could laughter and joy continually erupt and be "seen" when life was/is hard?  There MUST be a God!  And in spite of everything He, and Life, was and is always, very very good.  Amazing but true.

            So, on this St. Patrick's Day and in the spirit of Irish joy, here are a few choice Irish Religious Jokes.  Additionally, they provide a very nice poultice to the spirit of angry ugly divisiveness that currently permeates American culture.  These jokes remind us of the humor's power to help us laugh at ourselves and instantly make us, happily, One.  Here’s hoping around tonight’s many many sacred communion tables of corned beef and cabbage, enemies will become friends. 

            May that Irish wind we wish at everyone’s back blow us marvelously together today!!

          Okay, here are some fun jokes:


Paddy walked up to a Franciscan and Jesuit and asked, “How many novenas must you say to get a Mercedes Benz?”

The Franciscan asked, “What’s a Mercedes Benz?”The Jesuit asked, “What’s a novena?”


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 Two Irish Jesuit novices both wanted a cigarette while they prayed.  They decided to ask their superior for permission.  The first asked but was told no.  A little while later he spotted his friend smoking and praying.  “Why did the superior allow you to smoke and not me?” he asked.  His friend replied, “Because you asked if you smoke while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!”


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A Jesuit, a Dominican, and Paddy the Trappist were marooned on a desert island.  They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it.  Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes.  They decided it was only fair that they could each have on e wish.  The Jezzie said he wanted to teach at the world’s most famous university, and poof, he was gone!  The Dominican wished to preach in the world’s largest church, and, poof, he was gone!  Then the Trappist said, Begod, I already got my wish!”


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The Pope goes to New York.  He is picked up at the airport by a limousine.  He looks at the beautiful car and says to the driver, “You know, I hardly ever get to drive.  Would you please let me?”

 The driver is understandably hesitant and says, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m supposed to do that.”

 But the Pope persists, “Please?”  The driver finally lets up.  “Oh, all right, I can’t really say no to the Pope.”

 So the Pope takes the wheel, and boy, is he a speed demon!  He hits the gas and goes around 100 mph in a 45 zone.  Paddy the policeman notices and pulls him over and asks the Pope to roll down the window.  Startled and surprised, Paddy asks the Pope to wait a minute.  He goes back to his patrol car and radios the chief.

 Paddy:  Chief, I have a problem.

 Chief:  What sort of problem?

 Paddy:  Well, you see, I pulled over this guy for driving way over the speed limit but it’s someone really important.

 Chief:  Important like the mayor?

 Paddy:  No, no, much more important than that.

 Chief:  Important like the governor?

 Paddy:  Wayyyy more important than that.

 Chief:  Like the president?

 Paddy:  More.

 Chief:  Who’s more important than the president?

 Paddy:  I don’t know, but he’s got the Pope driving for him! 


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An old Irish man is lying in bed, very ill.  His son is sitting at his bedside, expecting the end to come at any moment.  The old man looks up at the boy and says, “Son it’s time for you to get me a Protestant minister.”

 The son is astounded.  “But, Dad!” he protests, “You’ve been a good Catholic all of your life!  You’re delirious.  It’s a priest ye be wanting now, not a minister.”

 The old man looks up and says, “Son, please.  It’s me last request.  Get a minister for me!”

 “But Dad,” cries the son, “Ye raised me a good Catholic.  You’ve been a good Catholic all your life.  Ye don’t want a minister at a time like this!”

 The old man manages to croak out the words, “Son if you respect me and love me as a father, you’ll go out and get me a Protestant minister right now.”

 The son relents and goes out and gets the minister.  They come back to the house, and the minister goes upstairs and converts him. 

 As the minister is leaving the house, he passes Father O’Malley coming quickly through the door.  The minister stares solemnly into the eyes of the priest.  “I’m afraid you’re too late, Father.  He’s a Protestant now.”

 Father O’Malley rushes up the steps and bursts into the old man’s room.  “Pat!  Pat!  Why did ye do it?” he cries.  “You were such a good Catholic!  We went to St. Mary’s together!  You were there when I performed my first mass!  Why in the world would ye do such a thing like this?

 “Well,” the old man says as he looks up at his dear friend.  “I figured if somebody had to go, it was better one of them than one of us.”